Polly Toynbee writes a fine article today advocating PR but even passionate advocates like Polly and me would be the first to admit that PR is only a partial solution to political disengagement.
Which got me thinking - isn't it time we started rewarding parties not just for the percentage of the vote they get but for their percentage of the electorate (we could even take into account those who do not register to vote).
PR will give us governments formed from 50%+ of the vote and give people the freedom to vote for the party of their choice knowing it will count, but why not make the non-voters count as well (non-voters are among the most disadvantaged of the electorate) and make it that whatever percentage are non-voters are represented by MPs selected at random from the electoral register. At the last General Election this would have meant 39% of MPs drawn from lot making them a bigger influence than Labour on policy (at local level it would be a majority selected by lot - televised of course). The more people vote, the more MPs are elected, the lower the turnout the more MPs are selected by lot. This would certainly give an incentive to candidates to get the vote out. No longer could people say that voting (or not voting) did not make a difference.
This would at least make negative campaigning less rewarding and stop the Tories benefiting from low turnouts or praying for rain on election day.