Friday, 7 May 2010

Don't do it Nick, you'll look stupid and get hurt

Observing the attempted seduction of Mr Clegg by Mr Cameron.

As predicted, Cameron is paying lip service to the idea of electoral reform, to try and make it possible for the Lib-Dems to go into coalition with him without looking stupid.  Don't do it Nick, you'll look stupid, and get hurt.

If this were Germany, not the UK, we would be talking about a centre-left coalition of Labour, Lib-Dem, SDLP, Green, and Alliance.  Why can't this be Germany?

Other parties, particularly the Scottish Nationalists (1,.8% of the vote, 0.9% of the seats, so far) also have a common interest in electoral reform, and no love of the Tories.  So, a Queen's Speech to adopt Labour's existing budget, implement electoral reform, and then have another election, would seem to be the answer.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

I am voting Labour for constitutional reform: here's why

Ben Goldacre is voting Lib-Dem for constitutional reform.  Respect for his principled position, but I fear if others follow his lead, it is an approach doomed to failure.


  1. If the Tories get an overall majority, we will not get constitutional reform.  Therefore those in favour must vote tactically against the Tories, including voting Labour in a Conservative-Labour marginal.
  2. If there is no overall majority, but the Tories are the largest party by a significant margin, the Lib-Dems will feel obliged to consider coalition with them first.  The Tories will gain their cooperation by playing lip service to voting reform, e.g. by agreeing to a referendum, but in practice strongly oppose it.
The second point is the reason why I am voting Labour in a Lab-Lib marginal.  Labour and the Lib-Dems in coalition would deliver substantive constitutional reform.

Labour already have a good track record of delivering constitutional reform:
  • Adoption of the European Convention of Human Rights
  • Partial reform of the House of Lords
  • Partial devolution of the UK
  • Proportional representation in elections for Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments
  • Freedom of Information Act 
If Labour are wiped out in this election we will not get constitutional reform.