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Electoral reform – or the lack of it

Indy front-page graphic The Indy produced this rather striking graphic today, along with an accompanying article telling us – once again – why we are in desperate need of electoral reform. They repeat once again the Mail claim which may well haunt Labour’s third term:

The Tories gained 50,000 more votes than Labour in England but got 92 fewer English seats.

As much as it’s talked up over the next few weeks, I highly doubt any major reforms of the electoral system will happen in this Parliament, not least because such reforms would seriously damage Labour’s chances of a fourth term. Or am I being too cynical?

The problem of electoral reform is a particularly tricky one, because I’m not aware of any suggestions that produce a truly fair and democratic electoral system. Having said that, I’m obviously not an expert in the field, and I may be missing something fairly obivous. But there’s no easy solution screaming out at me, like there is with so much other stuff that needs changing.

There was somewhere in particular that I intended to take this post, but it’s several hours since I started writing it (it’s been very much a bitty affair), and I’ve fogotten where that place was. I’m now faced with the decision of just giving up, or publishing this little bit. So I might as well just publish what I’ve written, even though there seems to be little point to it, and it doesn’t read very well. If you’ll forgive those points, I’ll consider writing something more sane tomorrow. But now I’m tired and have a killer headache.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

Opinions on the election

There’s much more interesting stuff being written about this election now it’s done with.

Colombia’s El Tiempo (via Harry Hutton) has praised Britain’s tedious elections, observing that this probably indicates social well-being, and that we should be celebrating the dullness. I’m not sure that’s actually true, but it’s certainly a different take on things.

At the same time, the Sunday Herald has come over all Kevin: “THE MOST UNFAIR ELECTION IN BRITISH HISTORY”. They have some reasonable points, but am I supposed to take them seriously under that headline?

PressEsc accuses Jack Straw of meddling in the inquiry into Labour’s rigging of votes. I wouldn’t worry too much about that – the worst case scenario would be for Tony Blair to fire him, and rehire him a couple of months later. That’s the Labour definition of ‘taking responsiblity’.

The Daily Mail appears to have got to Nosemonkey, by pointing out that Labour got 60,000 fewer votes than the Conservatives in England. I haven’t seen the Mail in a while, but I’m feeling a burst of desperation following their effectively defeated campaign.

All of the newspapers, including The Observer, report the meaningless non-story that Tony Blair has announced he’s not going to quit. Meaningless mainly because it’s not really his decision to make, as much as he’d like to think it is.

The Times is happy with the outcome, claiming it to be a ‘Miracle of democracy’. What has happened to the Times? It’s quite depressing.

I’m sure I’ll come across lots more on the election in the coming days, so stay tuned.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

A bit more on the election

Philip Cowley has an interesting take on the remaining Labour MPs over on the Guardian Election Blog – he points out that of the 356 Labour MPs remaining, 60 have rebel form from past votes – and Labour only has a 67 majority. It certainly will make for some interesting politics.

Andrew Brown also notes on the Helmintholog that the Guardian’s sale figures went up far more when reporting the death of an aging Pole than during the UK Election. Is this a mark of an over-reaction to the Pope’s death or a mark of a boring election campaign? Perhaps a touch of both.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

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