Sunday, 15 March 2015

After GE2015 will "Britannia Waves the Rules" once again.

I support PR (Proportional Representation) because I', a Democrat nit because it would benefit any other Party  and the Single Transferable Vote because even it is flawed it the one that comes closest whilst still having MPs having ties to Constituencies.
It has always seemed unlikely that we would a form of PR in UK elections  as it has does not suit the two main parties Labour and Tories.
When Devolution came about a form of PR was introduced in Wales and Scotland largely designed  to make sure that the SNP could not win an overall majority . This did not run to plan and the SNP have currently a majority government.
Meanwhile in 2005 we had our first Coalition Government in living memory and the Tories pulled one over their partners  by offering them a referendum not on STV bur the Alternative Vote which was rejected by a huge majority.

And that was meant to settle the constitutional question for t least a generation 
But now the Scots in particular have thrown another spanner in the works  
The Huffington Post reports that  
 A huge rise in the number of SNP MPs at the election in May will cause a "democratic legitimacy issue", the former cabinet secretary has warned.
Sir Gus O'Donnell, who was the country's top civil servant at the time of the 2010 coalition negotiations, suggested the first past the post voting system would come under intense pressure once the result becomes clear on May 8.
Speaking at an event hosted by University College London's Constitution Unit on Thursday evening, O'Donnell said what the election was "all about is Scotland". Oncurrent projections the SNP is expected to see its number of seats jump from six to nearly all of Scotland's 57 constituencies.
O'Donnell said while the SNP could win 55 MPs with just 4% of the national vote, theGreens and Ukip would not get anywhere near that many MPs despite "a lot more people" having voted for them. He said: "That's going to cause quite a legitimacy issue."
He added of opinion polls that showed national vote share. "I kind of despair. What matters for our parliamentary system and who is the government is seats not votes," he said.
O'Donnell said one the outcome of the election in May would be "legitimacy questions about the voting system" and "why is the relationship between votes cast and seats so wildly out of line".

So  O'Donnel saying  that National   and regional parties vote should be proportional to the UK as a whole ?

In this scenario based on a 5% threshold ( which many countries using PR set Plaid and the SNP would not have any representation in the UK parliament unless they formed a Bloc with others 

In the Blair Landslide of 1997 Labour one a huge majority of seats  with 45.6% of the vote and the Tories with 17.5%  did not have a single representative from Scotland

Votes % %
Liberal Democrat10Increase1365,36213.0Decrease0.1
Referendum Party0New26,7260.95New
Scottish Socialist0New9,7400.35New
Most Unionist accepted this and the Tories seemed to have no problem  . They after all had run Scotland  from Westminster during the Thatcher years regardless of how people  in Scotland voted.

Now of course Unionist at Westminster   and in the media  are in a panic the Majority of Scottish MPs will not be  lobby fodder for the  three main parties who had spent the last year telling the people of Scotland how much Westminster valued them .

And the London media  have spent the last few months telling us that the SNP are going to run England 

We can only wait for the Sun  South of the Border (It has different headlined in Scotland )  referring to the SNP  "jokingly" as the local Mau Mau..

O'Donnell ha given us a pointer to the thinking at Westminster  if the system that for a century has largely send us  Two main parties  who swap power every other decade or so and are now indistinguishable  does not give us the result we want in May . We will change the system.

Not out of the interest of Democracy but in the interest of the discredited Unionist Parties at Westminster.

And as O'Donnel may well have indicated any form of reform of PR may well seek to end any Welsh or Scottish Nationalist representation at Westminster entirely.

1 comment:

  1. you have to chuckle at the audacity of right wing tory commentators on the issue of scottish nat MPs.They promsided the scots the earth a couple of days before the referendum vote last september to keep them in the 'union' - yet now the scots are returning dozens of scottish nationalist's to the parliament of that very same union they dont seem to like it. So the tory right want scotland in the union...just so long as the scots vote the way they want! hmm

    On the issue of PR for elections to westminister worth recaling in those heady days after the general election in 1997 there was strong speculation that tony blair was going to invite paddy ashdown into his cabinet and cut a deal on introducing PR for elections to westminister.The principle motive for doing so being that it would ensure there'd never be a majority tory government at westminister again. Alas when he got his feet under the table at 10 downing street with a huge majority behind him - tony blair dropped this very worthy idea like a stone.

    The biggest losers of FPTP this time round are likely to be the Greens - they could get over a million votes in May and still end up without an MP.