Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Keep the Genie in the Bottle
(fair votes, hung parliaments & coalitions)

David Cameron has improved but Nick Clegg has got worse. Now he insists on 'fair votes' as his price to support a minority government.

Clegg says the genie can't be put back in the bottle: coalition government is becoming a reality and electoral reform must follow. But what would this really mean?

Quite simply, coalition government is inefficient and ineffective. The policies it introduces can never be the policies of its member parties. Policies will alway be compromises and fudges—agreed by arguments behind closed doors—and not designed to effectively address the issues.

The Lib Dems say proportional representation will deliver 'fair votes'. In fact, PR would lead to none of the voters receiving their electoral choices. Neither Lib Dem voters, nor Conservative voters, nor Labour voters would get the party policies they want.

Indeed, the only way to ensure any votes delivered a guaranteed result would be to add a box marked 'Coalition Government' to the ballot paper for voters to approve. Following this to its conclusion, all party names on the ballot may as well also be removed, since coalition government would always be the only electoral winner.

Acute observers will note that just one voting option at elections is the format used in countries like Cuba, North Korea and Burma. But this is effectively what would result from introducing Lib Dem PR. Election after election the result would be the same. No matter how disastrous the previous coalition government, the next election would produce yet another coalition. And so it would go on— for ever and ever.

So those who think voting Lib Dem would be a novel idea to freshen up the parliamentary system should be careful what they wish for. The Lib Dem insistence on introducing PR would mean an electoral dictatorship and the end of democracy in Britain.

If you're thankful to live in a democratic country then don't give that choice away. You won't ever be forgiven.

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