Why the left will always be at a loss without vote reform


2:04 pm - June 28th 2010

by Rupert Read    


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The afternoon session at Liberal Conspiracy’s excellent BlogNation event on Saturday featured many pleas for pluralism on ‘the Left’ – among Labour, Green Party, left-leaning LibDems, and others of other Parties or of none.

These pleas were welcome. But, at the same time, there was plenty of evidence of continuing tribalism lacing them: both from the platform and from some parts of the hall. Alex Smith from LabourList told us with disarming honesty of how the current attacks on the LibDems from David Miliband and others are calculated expressions of tribal self-interest.

How can the vision of a pluralist broadly co-operative politics of ‘the Left’ – central to the strategic mission of Liberal Conspiracy – actually be achieved?

One absolutely central obstacle to the growth of what would be such a genuinely new politics is our electoral system.

So long as we lack AV or PR, then different political Parties will always be playing a zero-sum-game against each other at election time, and talk of pluralism is mostly empty idealism. For the knowledge of the nature of such electoral contests poisons and undermines pluralist efforts in advance.

A hint of what is by contrast possible with AV was clearly visible in London’s Mayoral election two years ago, as the Green Party candidate Sian Berry (also present at Blog Nation) and Labour’s Ken Livingston cross-endorsed one another.

Like many on LC, I have robustly criticised the decision of the LibDems to form a coalition with the Conservatives rather than make a serious effort to form a ‘progressive majority’ government; and strong criticism of this regressive budget is also necessary and inevitable.

But James Graham of the Social Liberal Forum made a very good point in his talk: if our criticisms of the LibDems result in their weakness to such an extent that the political reforms that Clegg is tasked with become hobbled or defeated, then this will be a disastrous own-goal.

For all that the coalition’s economic policies are regressive and disastrous, their promised reforms of the electoral system could yet transform the possibilities of British politics for the better.

We on the Left will be hoist on our own petard, if we undermine changes in the electoral system without which the mission of Liberal Conspiracy will remain mostly a pipedream.

This is why, for example, I have drafted a motion for the Green Party Autumn Conference expressing support for AV, in a referendum on it. Moves such as this are not without their opponents – Jim Jepps of the Daily Maybe for example spoke with me at yesterday’s event of his concern that working for AV may get in the way of achieving PR.

If we are to have the chance to really overcome tribalism, then there is one further electoral reform that we must try to help the governing LibDems achieve. Without proportional representation in local elections, then the great majority of electoral contests in this country, the Council breeding grounds for the politicians of the future, will remain at heart tribal.

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About the author
This is a guest post. Rupert Read is a Green Party councillor and ran as a MEP candidate in Eastern region in 2009. He blogs at Rupert's Read and Comment is free
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Reader comments


PR makes for a less meaningful democracy. Let’s look at this election-

The Lib Dems, knowing they could only hope to form a government as part of a coalition, tailored their manifesto with those pre-coalition talks in mind. They pretended to disagree with deep early cuts and told their activists to go out and campaign on a platform of delaying cuts until the recovery was secure. According to the Financial Times, senior Lib Dems say that Vince Cable never believed this. According to Ed Miliband and Peter Hain, the Liberal Democrats were arguing for the opposite position in the discussions with them. This was Lib Dem policy only as something they could trade away to the Tories.

If parties can only get into government as part of a coalition they’re going to stuff their manifestos with things they don’t believe in order to trade them away during discussions, and they’re going to leave out things they do believe if another party agrees because they can then concede that during discussions and gain brownie points.

Under PR we’ll never know what a party actually intends and we’ll never be able to vote on policy. Everything will be managed according to its use as a bargaining tool during pre-coalition talks. We’ll all vote and then parties will not be held to their promises in any way.

“if our criticisms of the LibDems result in their weakness to such an extent that the political reforms that Clegg is tasked with become hobbled or defeated, then this will be a disastrous own-goal.”

Isn’t this a bit circular? Of course if the Lib Dems are weakened, their agenda will be harder for them to deliver. But they are being weakened because their substantive agenda has lurched wildly to the right.

If Labour can attract radical and left-wing Lib Dems over the course of this Parliament, while right-wing Lib Dems do not defect to the Tories, then an election fought under First Past the Post would probably be a triumph for the left – at least for those who believe Labour is a party of the left. Obviously those who see Labour as the enemy and place their hope in a possible polychromatic coalition will feel differently.

For now, I’d rather see potentially leaders explaining why Labour has the right ideas, values and policies on substantive issues, winning back those lost voters, than see them soft-pedaling on criticism of the lib dems to help them get their self-interested political agenda through.

The thing about AV is that it doesn’t typically lead to coalition government. Instead it is more about making pre-election concessions to get the second-preference votes of other parties supporters.

There are other systems with different geeky acronyms that are designed to more or less inevitably produce the results that FPTP does once a generation or so.

AV is potentially even more disproportional than FPTP, it is a red herring.

5. margin4error

Agree with Richard about AV. I’ll support it as it may boost turnouts a little. But it is often less proportional than FPTP.

I should say though that I have no problem with tribalism.

People who stand for something core and support the party that represents that core belief deserve a degree of respect from me. (Be it solidarity and Labour, or environmentalism and the Greens for example)

Politics isn’t all just a managerial exercise after all.

And since PR hardly breaks down tribalism in Germany, I see no reason why it would here.

I really hate this type masturbatory narrow-mindedness. Ask someone who is about to be thrown out of their home. Ask someone who is disabled and is now a target for nasty punitive cuts. Ask someone who is sick and facing the closure of their local NHS hospital. Ask any of these people if they care about electoral reform. They don’t give a toss, there are far more important things than that.

The left must fight the cuts to the welfare state and the destruction of public services. Electoral reform is minor compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed upon us. James Graham can go and have a secret self-gratification session while reading Cleggies electoral reform plans (and I hope he has his tissues to hand), I however, will fight this nasty government.

If the LibDems are only propping up this nasty government just to get electoral reform then it confirms what I have always thought about LibDems: they are just a bunch of wankers.

AV is wrongly seen by some of its supporters as a stepping stone to a genuinely proportional system. This is a dangerous delusion. If AV proves a disappointment…. that’s the end of the line for voting reform. The once bitten, twice shy rule will apply. If AV proves popular, then no one will want to go the extra mile for proportionality. Either way, AV is death to PR.

I am slightly bemused by the underlying logic here. It appears the original post (and perhaps the site’s mission) is to produce a unified left. I am struggling to find a situation in which all or even most facets of left-wing thought in any given country actually productively worked together in government; those that do spring to mind (Italy, Israel) had/have pure PR systems which seem to default to centre-right government strongly influenced by nutters, forcing left-wing alliances to form alternative governments. I struggle to think of a successful government in such cases…

Of course, alliances of part of the left are fine, but if say Zak Goldsmith took over the Conservative leadership, whilst Ed Balls was Labour leader, wouldn’t the Greens actually be more inclined to work with the former? Just because some viewpoints are (rightly or wrongly) seen as of the left does not mean they can only work with others of the left – see the current coalition and the howls of perceived betrayal it aroused.

Its practically impossible to have a “fair” voting system. However if you want to be elected you need policies that people want and to explain them without the obvious weaselling we had from all and sundry in May.

I suppose the elephant in the room in this debate is the massive distortion of our politics due to the media we have. Shouldn’t someone try to tackle Uncle Rupe, the weirdo Barclays and Dirty Des first?

10. margin4error

Given the level of disagreement on every Liberal Conspiracy article about this subject – can I make a suggestion?

It probably ain’t going to happen.

The reform vote is very split. Many consider AV worse than the present system anyway. Others think it will undermine the chances for real reform. Many people will just not want to vindicate the Lib Dems for supporting a shock-doctrine style government agenda.

Meanwhile the Conservatives are strongly united against reform, with just a handful of what they see as oddballs thinking it is a good idea.

I just don’t see it happening. So lets be honest about that before debating it.

@margin4error

“I just don’t see it happening. So lets be honest about that before debating it”

Indeed. I would go a step further and say, ignore it. It is fiddling while Rome burns. The LibDems do not want AV and they will lose the AV referendum. It is a diversion deliberately set to divide the opposition to this nasty government. Ignore it.

Electoral reform is minor compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed upon us.

Erm, you do know that even before this budget, there were millions of people across the world dying from absolute hunger. What were you doing to support them?

What I actually hate is this idea that we should only focus on a few issues defined by certain people. This is a broad movement, and there must be space for all sorts of campaigns and ideas. This is NOT a zero sum game.

Electoral reform is also important because over the longer term it makes it easier for the left to organise and make alliances to oppose the sorts of cuts that the Tories are now pushing. I’m baffled that some people don’t get such obvious points too.

13. margin4error

@11 and 12

I agree with Sunny that we can actually have and debate opinions on a wide range of things, and need not only focus on our three most important issues. (as it were).

However – I agree with Richard that since this particular issue appears to be a dead-end with no chance of getting any reform (even AV) – we should probably not let the government use it to distract and divide us.

Richard/4: AV is potentially even more disproportional than FPTP, it is a red herring.

Yes, if you recount previous UK general elections using a simple transfer model based on polling about second preferences, you get a result that is in a few cases – the 1997 landslide, for instance – even less proportional than now. Usually it’s neutral or more proportional, but since it’s not designed – and nor is FPTP – to be a proportional system, asking “how proportional is it” is not a particularly meaningful question anyway.

However, in an election that was known in advance to be run under AV, the way the parties positioned themselves and campaigned would be very different (the Lib Dem’s “two horse race” strategy would become extremely counter-productive, for instance, since it wouldn’t help them get those second preferences) and therefore a simple transfer model recount is not actually likely to reflect the real election results.

Jerry/7: …and if the referendum is lost no-one will want to do anything on voting reform for decades to come, so that’s also death to PR. Under that analysis, I’d rather have AV than FPTP since it at least gives improvements at the constituency level.

Actually, though, I think AV if successful – and don’t discount its positive effects on campaigning and relative positioning; see Papua New Guinea for a case study – could be a reasonable stepping stone to STV, since it’s unlikely that local government elections would remain on FPTP, and some of them are already multi-member wards (which would presumably go to STV).

@Cim

…and if the referendum is lost no-one will want to do anything on voting reform for decades to come

Agreed. Which is why the left (including LibDem membership) should be agitating for a multi-question referendum including a proportional option and refusing to swallow the bait of a yes/no to AV.

16. margin4error

@14

Does it not worry you then that there is little chance of victory, and the Lib Dems are thus seemingly set to wreck all chance of reform for a generation just to secure a figleaf for their party faithful to cover the blushes of an awful coalition deal?

Because so far I’ve seen plenty about why reform would be great – and nothing that makes me think there is any prospect of a referedum being won.

Please give me hope.

Jerry/15: I’d be happy with a multi-question referendum as long as it was held under either AV or Condorcet. Under FPTP there’s too much risk of FPTP winning a plurality despite a majority being in favour of a better voting system.

margin4error/16: Polling on the question so far has suggested that there is a majority in favour of voting system reform. I don’t think winning a referendum will be easy, but I don’t think it’s impossible.

The Lib Dems will support AV. Labour were willing to offer it without a referendum as a coalition deal, so can probably be persuaded to support it on average (there aren’t that many Labour MPs in Lab/Lib marginals who might lose their seat under AV). Northern Ireland has STV already for most elections so should be fine with AV for Parliamentary constituencies. Scotland probably can be won along similar lines. Supporters of the third/fourth party in marginals and the second/third party in safe-but-not-completely seats should be persuadable. Supporters of the second party in marginals should be persuadable if their party is likely to benefit more on transfers. Turnout is likely to be lower than in a general election, which usually benefits the side wanting change.

Now against that, there’s the Conservatives, the right-wing press, and their vast stacks of cash. That only got them 36% of the popular vote in the General Election, which wouldn’t be enough in a referendum.

Not easy, but not impossible either.

I’m confused. You make it very clear that you view ‘tribalism’ as A Bad Thing, and yet you talk of ‘the Left’. You are aware of the glaringly obvious contradiction there, I presume?

19. Paul Boizot

Discussing changes to the voting system is not “fiddling while Rome burns”. The voting system is one part of a whole which stifles change and democracy in this country, along with media coverage (or lack of it you are not one of the big boys in the playground), £1000 deposit per seat in parliamentary elections (why not ask for more nomination signatures?), lack of internal democracy within the two biggest parties, apathy and cynicism amongst voters, the party whip system, patronage, and no doubt more besides. The result in most elections since 1945 – but not quite in the last one – has been the elective dictatorship of either Labour or Tory imposing their will on the country without anything like majority support.

If there is a referendum on AV, I would vote “yes” as it is better than what we have now – but those who, like me, want PR and wider change must also use the opportunity to put the case for that too. We will not get PR out of referendum on AV, but it is a magnificent opportunity to lay the groundwork and outline what is wrong with the current set-up.

If we had PR and therefore probably coalition governments all the time, then elections would be fought in the knowledge that coalition was the likely outcome. Therefore both voters and parties would be prepared for this outcome, and one would hope that campaigns would also change accordingly.

As some comments have implied, you cannot always assume a community of aims amongst Labour, LibDems, Greens and assorted left elements. But I think the best chance of getting the best of all those worlds lies with a PR system (plus severe internal democratic reform within the Labour Party – no more sofa government). I think a very important fault-line lies between those who would like that, and those in Labour and Conservative parties who want “business as usual”. Those who want to extend democracy (yes, I know democracy does not guarantee sensible polices!) and those who do not. I would like to see Labour mambers and the left in particular name and shame those within their ranks who fall into the latter category.

Those who want to extend democracy (yes, I know democracy does not guarantee sensible polices!) and those who do not.

The countries that do well under full PR systems (notably Germany) are actually the ones that tends to make decisions in what could well be described as a non-democratic, technocratic way. Check what the poll numbers have historically been for adopting the euro (or these days, restoring the mark).

Maybe sensible, hard to argue as democratic.

In the long run, the consequences of adopting even sensible policies without getting public buy-in are often disappointing.

People pay most attention to politics at election time, so any system that gets parties to make statements about their plans before the election is a good thing.

Unelected policies have limited legitimacy.

The “AV is less proportional” is a red herring in itself. Not because it’s wrong, it may well be right, but because it doesn’t matter.

Point for point AV could be extremely disproportionate with 100% of the seats being won by one party on first and second preferences. Does this mean people’s views aren’t going to get a look in?

As someone else said above, that stance assumes that election pledges haven’t been pre-tailored to take in to account where the lay of the land is, and what people want if they can’t get the MP they *really* want.

It also ignores that there are vast swathes of people that won’t and don’t want to change from the simple constituency link. It’s a ridiculous thing, but some people seem to prefer a single contact to having multiple routes of contact.

AV gives people what they want, which is an MP that they can abide by, while currently the majority of the majority of constituencies actually don’t want the MP they have.

There are two stages in this fight, and it’s why I’ve no time for those that say that PR is dead if AV is enacted. The first stage is giving the power back to people. AV goes a long way, if not all the way, to creating a situation of greater marginality, of less safe seats…in turn this will boost turn out (marginality has been shown to be the key contributor in general terms to turn out figures).

But it won’t be the whole way, and whether AV fails or AV succeeds the argument for progression to PR is the same, and that is that there will still be a majority of people in the constituency who aren’t represented by EXACTLY who they want. They might have an MP that they can live with, and under a system that gives them greater power to remove them through swing opinion, but it won’t be as good as the second step which is true representation.

1. Power
2. Accurate representation.

All that we need now is for the Lib Dems and Labour lot to stop calling this PR reform and it might actually go somewhere, especially with a bit of honesty involved.

Discussing changes to the voting system is not “fiddling while Rome burns”. The voting system is one part of a whole which stifles change and democracy in this country,

Does it? I would argue that our electoral system (which I am not a fan of!) has had the opposite effect over the past century or so by exaggerating electoral change and then – and as a direct result – making profound political change much easier to implement.

along with media coverage (or lack of it you are not one of the big boys in the playground),

The media is a problem but I don’t see what the electoral system has to do with that. Do you think the media has a notably less negative effect in countries with more advanced electoral systems? Because if you do, you’re a fool.

On the second point, I don’t actually see the problem in giving the larger parties a larger share of the airwaves and newsprint than fringe organisations. Surely it’s the alternative that would be unfair? How would giving (for example) the Green Party roughly equal airtime to Labour be fair, when the latter has a mass following in the country and the former doesn’t?

£1000 deposit per seat in parliamentary elections (why not ask for more nomination signatures?)

All the deposit does is scare off (increasingly less) fringe candidates; people who had no chance of winning anyway. Asking for large numbers of signatures (as opposed to the current nominal amount) rather than a deposit would have the opposite effect to the one you want, I suspect.

lack of internal democracy within the two biggest parties,

But surely, as private organisations (well, more of an associational organisation in the case of Labour, but I suppose that unduly complicates matters) they are entitled to be as democratic or as undemocratic as they want to be? Btw, you really ought to have written ‘three biggest parties’ as events after the election made quite clear. Of course all three parties have a certain semblance of democracy, just of a different kind; even the Tories. I imagine that most Tory members (not that I know any under the age of 70) have no problems in kowtowing to whatever the Leader wants, most of the time.

apathy and cynicism amongst voters,

Cause and effect? I think you might want to reconsider whatever it is you’re arguing for (or against).

the party whip system,

Is a good thing, essential in a functioning democracy, and an effective check against the large-scale corruption that always occurs when politics becomes less divisive and more clubable.

patronage

Is inevitable in any and all political systems.

The result in most elections since 1945 – but not quite in the last one – has been the elective dictatorship of either Labour or Tory imposing their will on the country without anything like majority support.

lol

23. margin4error

Cim/17

Polling shows demand for voting reform. But That’s not the same as support for a specific reform, which will of course be less.

And yes, the Lib Dems will support AV. But by the time a referendum happens we can’t rely on Lib Dem support being 15 percent of the vote. It could be lower if they keep getting all the flak for their government’s actions. (And I suspect they will until the leave the coaltion).

Labour don’t particularly support electoral reform. It was offered up at the election as a sop to the Lib Dems, but nothing more than that. Plenty of Labour members support PR. But plenty like FPTP. And PR’s not on offer anyway.

Also, don’t under-estimate that Labour people, along with some devolution parties, won’t support the one thing the Lib Dems can use to save themselves and justify accepting the Tory whip. They also won’t like the idea right not of facilitating a lot of Tory-LibDem one-two votes and a long term right-wing coalition government.

And we mustn’t forget that third and fourth parties are largely the Greens and Ukip. Neither is likely to enthusiastically back electoral reform, Ukip because they are instinctively conservative and traditionalist. Greens because part of their strength as a party is their unwillingness to compromise, which may apply to PR too.

24. Paul Boizot

Re post 22 Alun – (see his post re which points he was responding to – threding gets too complicated otherwise)

“I would argue that our electoral system (which I am not a fan of!) has had the opposite effect over the past century or so by exaggerating electoral change and then – and as a direct result – making profound political change much easier to implement. The media is a problem but I don’t see what the electoral system has to do with that. Do you think the media has a notably less negative effect in countries with more advanced electoral systems? Because if you do, you’re a fool.”

—Thanks for your understanding and lack of rudeness. I did not say the electoral system directly affected media coverage. I said the two items were part of a wider complex which stifles democracy and change. You may be right about the effect on change – I suppose I meant change of the sort that I would like to see!

“On the second point, I don’t actually see the problem in giving the larger parties a larger share of the airwaves and newsprint than fringe organisations. Surely it’s the alternative that would be unfair? How would giving (for example) the Green Party roughly equal airtime to Labour be fair, when the latter has a mass following in the country and the former doesn’t?”

— Er..did I argue for equal coverage? Coverage in proportion to number of candidates would be a start! And how exactly do you get a mass following when you get zilch coverage and everyone “knows you can’t win”

“All the deposit does is scare off (increasingly less) fringe candidates; people who had no chance of winning anyway.”

—Perhaps they might have a chance of winning if all the above did not militate against them. And, in the case of the Greens who were hardly friendly to capitalist interests when they started their attempt to change the system, if they could put a bit more time into campaigning and a bit less into holding jumble sales to raise election deposits. You have to assume several lost elections before you can get anyone in under this system. Anyway, the system should never tolerate bias against candidates on the grounds that “they can’t win”

“But surely, as private organisations (well, more of an associational organisation in the case of Labour, but I suppose that unduly complicates matters) they are entitled to be as democratic or as undemocratic as they want to be? ”

—I suppose they are entitled to be undemocratic -as long as they do not spout cant about democracy – but it is not healthy for the political system if they are.

“”apathy and cynicism amongst voters”” – “Cause and effect? I think you might want to reconsider whatever it is you’re arguing for (or against).”

—-probably some cause and some effect. One of the most central political problems for me is why most people don’t give a toss, to put it bluntly, and I do not think it is all just the effect of the political system in the last 50 years.

“”the party whip system”” – “Is a good thing, essential in a functioning democracy, and an effective check against the large-scale corruption that always occurs when politics becomes less divisive and more clubable.”

–yes I can see arguments for this, maybe should have left this out for now.

“”patronage”” – “Is inevitable in any and all political systems.”

—yes but can be better or worse. Don’t hear many mainstream politicians speak out against it. See party whips and lack on internal party democracy again.

“”The result in most elections since 1945 – but not quite in the last one – has been the elective dictatorship of either Labour or Tory imposing their will on the country without anything like majority support.”” – “lol”

—from your sense of humour I would guess you are a Con or Lab supporter. I have failed to see the joke since I became interested in politics over 40 years ago. Labour have been a particular disappointment – at least with the Tories you don’t expect anything radically alternative!

margin4error/23: Even at the last election, with Labour being extremely unpopular in the polls, Lib Dem transfers would have gone 2:1 for Labour. The Lib Dem party might be shuffling rightwards in coalition (and I’m not actually sure that it is), but its voters are probably not.

Agreed, the proportions in favour of voting reform in the polls are for voting reform generally rather than anything specific, but on the other hand, the questions asked are usually about a PR-like system, and AV is less controversial than that because single-seat constituencies can be kept.

I wouldn’t necessarily assume that just because the LD poll share is dropping (and we won’t really know how far until the first real by-election) the proportion of people they can convince to support AV is necessarily dropping. Actually, since the referendum will force them to disagree with their coalition partner, it might make them look more distinctive and get them additional public support anyway.

I suspect Labour – voters rather than party activists – will be more inclined to support AV because the Conservatives oppose it than to oppose it because the Lib Dems support it.

26. margin4error

cim

The whole thing is likely to be cast as a distraction resulting from having to give the Lib Dems a sop for joining the coalition. And that’s not going to inspire turnout from Labour supporters who by then will no doubt have set rising poverty, unemployment, and falling living standards as their key issues.

The only thing that boosts turnout outside of general-elections is something vigourous worth voting for (so occasional local elections or the EC referendum) – or a chance to bash the government for the pain they cause.

Trouble is – whatever the result, the government wins. So I can’t see that working for this.

My thoughts here http://tiny.cc/o4i5b the referendum sadly looks like to kill any shift to a proportional system for a generation and combined with larger constituencies may maker it tougher for Caroline Lucas to be re-elected.

We need a vigorous campaign for fair voting/PR not AV.

Hey its not even AV plus!


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Why the left will always be at a loss without vote reform http://bit.ly/aorVYm

  2. P. S. Wong

    RT @libcon: Why the left will always be at a loss without vote reform http://bit.ly/aorVYm

  3. Paul Sandars

    RT @libcon: Why the left will always be at a loss without vote reform http://bit.ly/aorVYm

  4. Andrew Barnes

    RT @libcon Why the left will always be at a loss without vote reform http://bit.ly/ciV34w

  5. RupertRead

    Check out my latest piece, at Liberal Conspiracy: RT @libcon: Why the left will always be at a loss without vote reform http://bit.ly/aorVYm

  6. NorwichGreenParty

    Cllr Rupert Read's latest article on 'Liberal Conspiracy' site: Why we will always be at a loss without vote reform http://bit.ly/aorVYm

  7. RupertRead

    Let me know what you think of my latest LIBERAL CONSPIRACY piece: Why we will always be at a loss without vote reform http://bit.ly/aorVYm

  8. Matt Wootton

    RT @GreenRupertRead: Check out my latest piece @Liberal Conspiracy: Why we will always be at a loss without vote reform http://bit.ly/aorVYm

  9. The campaign for vote reform now needs a simple message | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] It’s also a clear step towards PR as any “No” vote will kill electoral reform for generations. I’m pleased to see that the Greens look like they will back the change with prominent party members like Rupert Read championing a “Yes” vote. […]

  10. Don’t be a dinosaur: Get on board in the battle for AV « Broad Left Blogging

    […] So, in terms of Parties: on the No side are the Conservative Party and Labour tribalists, and maybe some Greens (if the opposition to AV of Derek et al continues). On the Yes side are the Liberal Democrats, Labour pluralists (including Compass, the Millibands and Diane Abbott) and certainly some Greens (see here). […]

  11. Compass and pluralism « Broad Left Blogging

    […] it really wants to prepare the way for the new coalitional politics which AV and PR will bring (see http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/06/28/why-the-left-will-always-be-at-a-loss-without-vote-reform/ ), then Compass needs to change this rule. So long as Compass forbids members of other progressive […]





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