If Brown or Labour really want a legacy or a totemic issue to...
change public opinion then proportional representation is the answer. Robin Cook stated that if Labour fail to change the electoral system while they have the chance that would be it's biggest failure. Andrew Carmichael writes in the Guardian -
"Surely Gordon Brown has only one choice now after the disaster in Crewe and Nantwich. A rapid espousal of a good system of proportional representation can save us from the flimsy conservatism of David Cameron and his cronies. Please do it now before it is too late".
While I agree with this, I just cannot see Brown or Straw having the courage or morality to follow it through. I also think Labour need a change of leader and to restore some dignity to the polls first for any talk about PR not to sound like a desperate attempt to save their electoral skins.
While Labour may be heading for defeat and are clearly not the choice of the electorate to rule alone, neither really is there any real enthusiasm for the Tories. Do people really want a Tory government with a massive majority when only about 25% of the electorate will vote for them (around 40% of the vote)?
If the Tories want more than 50% of the seats in parliament then they should have to win more than 50% of the vote. Labour has the power to do this. What could be more just and moral than for Labour to honour their promise of a referendum on this issue. Labour could not ask for a bigger legacy than this and the people would thank them for it.
With John Denham (anti-war and pro-PR) at the helm, it would signal a believable change of direction with a leader with a true moral purpose. I notice that amongst Labour party members, Denham is now in position to run for leader - while Brown is right at the bottom with chancellor Darling.