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I Agree With Nick

More thoughts on the Election, especially given the way that public opinion appears to have changed since my last post on the subject, which was before the first Leaders’ TV Debate.

Some say that the increase in backing for the Lib Dems following the Debate reflects a real change in public opinion, others that it’s just a short-term surge as a result of a particularly popular performance by Nick Clegg – and poor performances by David Cameron and Gordon Brown – last week. Whichever is the case, the Lib Dems have certainly earned the right to be heard.

I think we now have a genuine “three-horse-race”. As a consequence, I can see that the vote share will get considerable scrutiny, just as much as the seat results. If, as seems likely, the election returns a result that doesn’t fairly represent voters, it will add weight to calls for electoral reform. If a hung parliament results with the Lib Dems holding the balance of power, such electoral reform will be one of their primary conditions for coalition.

I really hope this happens.

The alternative is yet another election where a ‘winning’ party can ignore the will of the majority of voters and force unpopular legislation through Parliament. Just like every General Election in the past century.

This is important. I’ve checked some figures: in every General Election since 1945, the so-called ‘winning’ party has formed a government with less than 50% of the votes. That is, more people voted for someone else. Read that again. Often the party forming a government gained less than 40% of the vote. Voting reform is vital. Even famous, historical election wins of the past – the well-known ‘landslide’ victories – are not really anything of the kind. The post-Falklands War election in 1983, for example: Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives polled only 42% (the reason the number of seats gained was so high was because the opposition vote was split very evenly between Labour and SDP/Liberal Alliance). A full 58% of voters voted against the Conservatives. The same applies to Labour’s ‘landslide’ win in 1997: only 43% of the vote; 57% of voters voted against Labour.

We should not put up with two political parties, with extreme and opposite viewpoints, taking turns at running the country with a minority of support and thus alienating the majority of the electorate. This year, things really could be different. If a hung parliament results, it could be the trigger for a historic change to the voting system, making it fairer for all in future. Everyone’s vote would count.

Even if you don’t want to vote for the Lib Dems, consider doing so so that we can get a hung parliament; the Lib Dems will pursue electoral reforms in this situation.

Then next time you can vote for who you really want and see real representation as a result.

One Response to I Agree With Nick

  1. interestingly enough the 42% that maggie and and blair won with is the exact figure that facebooks pol have the libdems at..interesting to see if the shoe really Is on the other foot that the libdems will still pursue reform !

    im all for libdem btw

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