Subjective Objectivity – The Blog of The Reasonable Man

July 28, 2010

Well played Labour party

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikeshotgun @ 2:05 pm

I was going to lay into the Labour front bench for the unsurprising turn that they will vote against the electoral reform Bill in Parliament that would schedule a referendum on AV next May. But then I noticed this, relating to boundary reforms:

Labour claims the boundary reforms would benefit the Tories so much that the Labour party would find it impossible to win a general election again.

Conservatives complain that the current boundaries require them to win more votes than Labour to gain the same number of MPs, because on average Tory seats have more constituents.

Straw insisted today the difference was only “marginal” and could be dealt with by the existing system of Boundary Commission reviews.

As to the effects of boundary reforms, reasonable men may differ, and it’s not remotely in Labour party’s interests to countenance such reforms. Or indeed any electoral reform whatsover. Still, their evangelical conversion to the Alternative Vote during the last election cycle does look less than fully ingenuous. Though on this occasion they’ve played their hands well. It’s the smart way to frame the issue, and it puts the Prime Minister in a bit of a spot. For bigger stupidity comes, as it often does, from the Conservative backbenches:

A total of 45 disaffected Conservative MPs, led by Bernard Jenkin, John Redwood, Edward Leigh, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and David Davis, have signed an early day motion saying it is wrong to hold the referendum and elections on the same day.

I guess the British public might just be overwhelmed by too much voting in one day to properly decide on…things. I’m not sure. This has been one of less cohesive arguments ever levied, so I won’t try to decipher it lest I develop an ulcer.


As a side observation from this and other news stories this week, it would seem that the Labour attack of choice these days is that a politcal system with political parties might herald “partisan” or “ideological” policies. Perhaps this has lead me to misread the retrograde agenda as regards civil liberties pursued during the last government. Maybe they were just being less “ideological” as a way of outreach to what they thought the Tories wanted.

Or maybe this all part of their curious dogwhistle overtures to the Liberal Democrats, who they seem to think were unaware of the existence of Conservative manifesto. Or the Coalition Agreement.

Cross-posted at Something Quotable


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