Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why we must stop the Gerrymander

Whatever happens today it is fairly clear that this is the last day of Labour government for some time. In it's place will be a Tory-dominated one - either alone or with Lib Dem support.

This could also be the last election in this country in which it is possible to actually elect anything otherthan a Conservative govern
ent. Why? Not because we are going to get PR but because the Tories plan to equalise constituencies in size and move to 500 MPs from he current 650. While nobody has done the mapping of this yet, what this actually produces is a huge weighting in the system to the Tories. City constituencies include more suburbs and countryside. England - where the Tories are strongest - gains versus Scotland and Wales. And the south gains massively over the north. Add First Past the Post and you have created a Tory state that will make us look more like Japan -where the ruling party has been in power virtually unbroken since 1945 - than a multi party pluralistic democracy.

Cameron's credentials as a progressive, reforming leader are, for me, utterly shallow. His willingness to entrench and render voiceless even more people than is the case today show him for what he really is. If you are serious about empowermnent, locAlism and the good, fair society you have to start by giving people a voice that counts and fair votes. Cameron's proposed reforms take us back in terms of the franchise and I da only hope that he hasn't got the numbers to push this through. My prediction for today is 37, 29, 26 with the Tories scraping a tiny majority due to the marginals. Let's see.

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