The other night in the House of Commons, Gordon Brown rammed through a vote to hold a public vote on changing the voting system. He claimed that it would clean up politics – a strange claim as it’s the expenses system that needs cleaning up, not the way we elect MPs. With his Lib Dem buddies the vote was won and the Bill progresses through the house. There are two points to be made here, firstly any referrendum will be held after the next election and secondly the Bill will not have passed all its stages before the next election. This leads me to think that this is a gimmick of the worse kind.
A gimmick that’ll please the Lib Dems into thinking that once again Labour are their friends and a gimmick that’ll make sure that in any hung Parliament that any deal to be struck will be between Labour and the Lib Dems. I just think that this is a little cynical as it is obvious why Brown is doing this: – to give him a better chance to stay PM after an election. This is no wish to clean up politics, or to pretend to make things fair, it is solely about him staying in power by getting the Lib Dems to vote with Labour to form a Government.
This graphic from the BBC (click here) is interesting. It shows that the AV system would not have changed any outcome of the last few General Elections. What it would have done is given the Lib Dems more seats in Parliament. Now if you support the Lib Dems then that’s fine. However, if what you want is strong clear Government it’s not fine as the over representation of the Lib Dems does not make the electoral system fairer.
So to buy the Lib Dems support, they get another few dozen MPs – great deal Gordon…. However, it also makes it even clearer now. To kick Brown in the pants and send him packing from Government, there is only once choice for your vote and that’s Conservative. All other parties will see Labour cling on or in bed with the Liberal Democrats.