Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Alternative votes will lead to alternative parties and unintended consequences

The only truth we can be sure of is there is nothing Gordon Brown won't do to try to hold onto power.

Attempting to convert Labour to a form of PR just as your 13 years in power is coming to an end will be seen as just the sort of unprincipled opportunism or even cheating that Labour have become synonymous with.

But all the political parties have something to worry about here.

Each party is an alliance of interests who are willing to make compromises for power ( or in the Lib Dem case for getting a few people on the public pay role ).

AV will allow someone to vote for, say a religious party, safe in the knowledge they aren't "wasting their vote" as there second preference will be just as valid and valuable as another person's first. It will allow groups to make their presence felt. Political parties will be able to note where the religious parties votes go - which will vastly improve the negotiating strength of that group. There are plenty of other groups this applies to.

An unintended consequence will be that smaller political parties will become "more popular" - even if they don't win seats. ( And of course the pressure will come to allocate them seats in the style in Scotland and Wales ).

It will be possible to run more than one candidate from the same party in the same ward. Or two parties which are close, but disagree one one point of policy perhaps.

Some of the existing political parties will become unstable. Each of the three main parties could split - perhaps ironically the Liob Dems are the most likely as they are a hopeless compromise between Blairite Social Democrats and Nick Clegg's Tory-Lites.

It could be good for democracy, so whilst I condemn Labour for their usual breath taking cynicism, I don't rule out the idea.

The voters need more influence over the political establishment - which is liberal and over all centre right - when the votes are really conservative and centre right.

Not quite the realignment Brown has in mind though ...

2 comments:

Elby the Beserk said...

Regardless of any change in the voting system, the West Lothian question must be answered in the next Parliament.

That done, Scotland can impoverish itself forever with its love of Socialism, and England can stay conservative with a small "c", as it always has been.

We have to prevent the massive influence of Scottish Marxist thugs over England

Toque said...

Vote here, Elby.