Friday, May 07, 2010

FPTP- RIP?

A long night at the count for Gordon, where Malcolm Bruce was able to hold his seat in fine style: a tribute to a fine local MP. Equally Sir Robert Smith held West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine in the face of a determined challenge.

However, across the country, though the people may have spoken, what they are saying has been ignored.

The Liberal Democrats won many thousand more votes than last time, but we must content ourselves with a smaller Parliamentary representation. The defence of the First Past the Post electoral system is that is is supposed to deliver more stable governments, albeit at the expense of the democratic will. Now, it is difficult to establish what should happen. The fact is that the country must now face considerable uncertainty in the face of such a distorted result. The difference between the Liberal Democrats holding 55 seats and holding more than 70 seats is a bare few hundred votes.

This makes a farce of our democracy. Without electoral reform, Britain can no longer claim that its government reflects the will of the people in anything more than an approximation. Both Mr. Cameron and Mr. Brown should now reflect on the new reality. It is clear that Labour can not hold on to power- and any attempt to do so would lead to disaster. Mr. Cameron has more votes and -barely- more seats. He has a mandate, however imperfectly, to try to form a government. In the face of the the economic crisis, David Cameron must now take on the responsibility to form a government in the national interest.

If David Cameron does want to form a stable government, he must now consider not just the policies the UK needs to tackle the economic crisis, but also the political crisis: and that must include recognition that the electoral system does not reflect how people voted: it has distorted it.

6 comments:

Newmania said...

Must be disappointing .Cheer up When Jeremy Thorpe traded his pocketful of baubles with Heath the Liberals were nothing .Now even with this poor showing they are likely to hold the balance of power often .The long term future is , as I think sensible people must accept , reform of some sort.

Who knows is it possible the Lib Dems might allow that other people have a view ? ....On the other hand if the Party defrauds the people now at this time by subterfuge with New Labour then it would not be forgiven .All those who oppose collectivism in all its pinky and red guises would know what the Liberals stood for which is what we always said it was ...Labour

Kyle Le Huray said...

I'm anxious about us joining with the Cons, but Labour have had years to sort out the voting system and have avoided true democracy until it became neccessary for them to stay in power. Labour are finished, let's just hope that the we aren't seen as "mini-conservatives" at the next election. Even worse - let's hope that the Tories don't backstab us and point the finger when their plans start to go horribly wrong.

Newmania said...

I actually think that both Parties have a lot to gain for being seen to cooperate now
Conservatives have to get right back into the mainstream there is still far to much "No-one likes us and we don`t care ".

Liberals will be seen as safe pair of hands and vitally not simply as part of the so called "Progressive alliance ".

tonybutcher said...

Lib Dems should embrace this opportunity and Pushing for Proportional Representation now could be bad for Lib Dems a blog: http://wp.me/pRHY4-C

Tim Hedges said...

'The defence of the First Past the Post electoral system is that is is supposed to deliver more stable governments, albeit at the expense of the democratic will.'

Puh-lease. Remember Helmut Kohl? voted out by his constituents after a financial scandal. When they woke up next morning he was still there, put back on the Party List system.

Look at what is going on now: after we have voted the Political Class sort out the policies they want (not what we want). You might have voted LibDem because of opposition to Trident only to find it's back on the agenda on Monday.

You think that's democratic? Give me FPTP any day.

doctorhuw said...

"Barely" more seats? He has 50 more seats. That's a good 20% more.

The only reason Cameron is not in Downing Street this morning is because Gordon Brown, in the face of the most recent relevant precedent (1974 not in fact being a precedent for the current situation) has not admitted the country hates his guts and resigned.

Congratulations on your results in Scotland. And in Cheltenham, for the matter of that - although it wasn't unexpected to anyone who knows anything about Cheltenham!