Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Hats off to Gordon Brown for blowing wide open again the negotiations over who will form t'next Government and how. You could tell that the Lib Dems were instinctively unhappy about forming a coalition with the Tories and I don't blame them. Cameron's offer of a government inquiry into proportional representation was laughable - we already did that back in 1988 - and I don't see how they could easily come up with an agreed programme of legislation to last for a whole Parliament of five years.
The inquiry in 1988 recommended an 'Alternative Vote' system, which would mean the second choice votes of the lowest scoring candidates would be redistributed until one candidate has acquired more than 50%. There's a nice explanation with graphics over at The Guardian that even William Hague could understand. This is the system that t'Labour Party proposed to put to the electorate in a referendum.
I have always preferred a consensus approach to life rather than an adversarial one so I'm quite content for the politicians to be forced to start negotiating and actually work out policies that will make life better all round, rather than merely follow political dogma and vested interests. And bol**cks to those who say you need a 'strong' government that 'first past the post' (usually) provides. First, it is unrepresentative - the lib Dems got 3.9 million fewer votes than the tories but 250 fewer Parliamentary seats, whilst their 6.8 million votes only got them 57 seats. Secondly, there are 'strong' governments in North Korea, Burma, Zimbabwe and many more. It ain't necessarily a good thing!

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