The door to proportional representation is not yet shut. While quite a few commentators are talking about how they'll vote in a referendum whose question is not yet set I happen to think that's a bit premature. The bill has not yet been written, nor has it gone through the process of amendment and voting. We don't know what is going to happen.
No one gives a toss about Alternative Voting, and if Proportional Representation was on the ballot the vast majority of those voting for reform would vote for PR over AV any day. It's one thing to accept a "miserable little compromise" has taken place, it's quite another to quit pushing before the battle for PR is lost.
I've no illusions about the Parliamentary. But if we're to keep PR on the agenda, not just for the Commons but also for the House of Lords we need to keep MPs aware that there are millions who want it. I've no idea how a referendum would go, but I do know that PR is the preferred system to replace FPTP for millions in this country.
Today I sent this letter to my MP, Joan Ruddock, and I think it would be a good idea if others were to write to their local MPs too.
Dear Joan Ruddock,If you do write and get an interesting response - let me know!
while I'm very happy to see that electoral reform is finally on the agenda for the House of Commons I'm far from happy that the coalition government wants to push for Alternative Voting (AV) as an attempt to head off a system of proportional representation.
AV, just like First Past The Post, leaves millions of people unrepresented and millions more massively under-represented. A truly democratic system would allow for every vote to count equally and for every party with significant support to have a voice in Parliament.
As yet the bill is not written and I'm writing to you to ask that you try to ensure that Proportional Representation is not taken off the agenda. The people should have the option of choosing PR rather than being given a non-choice between two systems that entrench the unfairness of our electoral system.
I'm sure the majority of MPs are fully aware that there is a mood for fundamental democratic reform, and that they are also aware that there has never been any public pressure for AV, this is simply a dodgy Tory stitch-up to prevent the public being allowed to choose a fairer electoral system.
There is still time to ensure that the case for PR is at least heard in Parliament and I'd like to ask you to help ensure that it is.