24 May 2009

Another General Election Under This System Is Just A Waste Of Time.

No wonder David Cameron is calling for a general election when just 39% of the vote will give him a landslide victory under our present system.

What we need is proper reform not one or two independent celebrity MPs (and that is all it will be) who will have no power in parliament - outnumbered by 400 or so Tory MPs.

Cameron is sacrificing a few old Tory grandees near retirement to spin his holier than thou image. But while he expects £20,000 of taxpayers money to go towards his mortgage on his gigantic country house, his spin is all hogwash. Why also are Tory MPs like Michael Gove allowed to 'flip' their mortgages and get no sanction from Cameron. Gove is no different from Hazel Blears and should get the same contempt.

I also think that the next 12 months will allow voters to be told exactly what Cameron's MPs have been up to. Cameron would prefer we have a quick election before all that - no wonder.

Alan Johnson has pointed out that all the groundwork has been done for electoral reform just a few years ago - we could just implement the Jenkins report which recommends 'the alternative vote plus' mark 1-2-3 on the ballot paper for a constituency candidate and 1-2-3 for a regional candidate. MPs would need to get 50% support in their constituency and regional MPs would make up 20% of parliament and produce a more proportional result. Under AV+, parties would need around 45% of the vote for a majority in parliament, still not a majority of votes to get a majority of seats but much better than the present situation where 35% can give you a landslide

The dream scenario is this :- Gordon Brown is removed this summer, Alan Johnson (or someone else) is installed by the party members for the party conference in September announcing an immediate general election in October coupled with a referendum on how we elect our MPs for the same day. It is a dream I know.


  1. Er...this government got just 36% in 2005. Current polls give Liarbour less than 30%.
    Res Ipsa Loquitor

  2. Annon......
    It looks even worse in figures.

    Registered to vote Dec 2004

    Total votes cast (2005 election)
    27,082,488 (61.3%)

    Labour share of vote
    9,560,118 (35.3%)

    The system really does need reform, but NuLabour have had since 1997 to reform it and have done nothing.

    With this mornings revelations regarding the claim of expenses for accountancy by members of the cabinet (funny how the same names keep popping up. Blears, Hoon, Smith etc etc)the sooner The House of Commons is purged of this rag bag collection of a Parliament the better.
    As for Alan Johnson as Leader, it is difficult to think of any candidates for the post. Alan Johnson is certainly not up to this task. In fact he should reapply for his old Job.

    Have a look at http://spotlightcomments.blogspot.com/

    There is a very sound argument for a General Election now.

  3. Anon and TF, yes and I have always argued that Labour do not deserve to be in power on 36% of the vote, let alone have a healthy majority of seats. We are heading for a Tory landslide - a massive majority on possibly less than 40% of the vote. How low will it have to go before fptp-ers admit we do not live in a proper democracy any longer? I mean labour could have won with 30% in 2005. Would that have been ok? The Tories might sneak in for a second term on 30% of the vote (once they have fiddled the boundaries back in their favour), would that be legitimate democracy? When will they finally have to admit this rotten system is ridiculous?

  4. The argument in favour of a General election to be held in or before October of this year is compelling. Yet we have the dismal picture of Gordon Brown clinging to the last residue of power and office as members of Parliament from all parties announce their intention to stand down at the next General Election, due to their at best questionable actions associated with the MP‘s Allowance revelations. The scandal goes to the very heart of Government, with at least 5 members of Gordon Brown’s cabinet implicated to some degree or other, in practices which at best, could be seen as “milking the system”. The standard response of “It was all a terrible mistake” is no longer acceptable, if it ever was, as it stretches credibility to the very limit. The Prime Minister of this Country dithers and tinkers with the margins of the problem announcing initiatives to “solve the problem” which are discarded as plays catch up with leaders of the other parties apparent firm actions in removing members in one way or another.
    Not that this will in itself, solve the problem with confidence in the political system. The people of this country have lost confidence in their elected representatives and must now be given the opportunity to express this lack of confidence through the ballot box. To continue a Parliament where a substantial number of MP’s will be standing down at the next election, some for legitimate reasons, but others through being exposed in this outrage, is a recipe for disaster with a lame duck Parliament and a lame duck cabinet.
    Until there is some means by which the British Public can hold their representatives responsible, (the Recall System proposed by 38 Degrees seems to be worthy of consideration) for their behaviour as MP’s, then the only means of redress is through the Ballot box. As the Prime Minister has the sole power at this time, to call elections then failure to do so will only enhance the clamour for fixed Parliaments. There is an irresistible demand for electoral reform in this country. The present Parliament does not have the moral authority to carry out such measures. A new Parliament is essential to restore confidence in Parliamentary Democracy, by introducing a fundamental shift in power away from Government (or the elected dictatorship for 5 years maximum as it can now be described) and back to the people of this nation.

  5. Thomas, I agree that Labour should ditch Brown and call an October general election.

    But at the same time people should be given the opportunity in a referendum to change how we elect our MPs. This referendum has to be binding on any incoming administration otherwise it would be ignored by the political classes.

    Since politicians have too much of a vested interest in how they are elected, it should be left to a citizen's convention (or large jury) to decide what system should be put forward to the general public to decide upon.

    What is wrong in giving the people a say over this?

    David Cameron is silent over the 'recall' idea - because he would not implement it and wants to avoid it completely. He has also only said he will only give 'serious thought' to fixed term parliaments. Which means he will quietly drop the idea once given a massive majority of seats on a minority (less than 40%) of the vote.

    David Cameron is worth £30m, yet he still thinks the taxpayer should pay £20,000 towards his massive mortgage he doesn't even need. This is the man in charge of 'saving our money'. God help us!

    If you want to know the sort of Tories that will be in charge come the next election - think of 'servants quarters' and 'moats round their castles'.