Tag Archives: boundary changes

“Devonwall” seat proposal – the government ignore Cornish pride at their peril

The Strand, Bude by paul walterThe Strand, Bude, Cornwall

On Wednesday I was lucky enough to be in a choir leading the singing of “Trelawny” in an ancient Cornish church. “Trelawny” or “The Song of Western Men” is the “unofficial Cornish national anthem” written by Rev R.S. Hawker. The congregation joined in with the choruses – most enthusiastically – and rapturous applause from “one and all” followed the song. It was a magical moment and reinforced that great feeling of community which one feels amongst Cornish people. There’s a real passion and pride about the Cornish nation.

The Boundary Commissioners and Theresa May should have been present at that church. I have a hunch that witnessing such strength of feeling, they would think again about their proposals for a “Devonwall” seat. The church in question is just south of Bude and part of the proposed parliamentary constituency of Bideford, Bude and Launceston, straddling Devon and Cornwall – or, I should say, Cornwall and England.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 25 Comments

Tories lose boundary review vote, Lib Dems vote against Coalition partners for first time

The Boundary Commissions - book coverThe BBC reports this afternoon’s vote:

Plans to redraw constituency boundaries before 2015, backed by the Tories, have been defeated in the House of Commons. MPs voted by 334 to 292 to accept changes made by peers, meaning the planned constituency shake-up will be postponed until 2018 at the earliest. It was the first time Lib Dem ministers have voted against their Conservative coalition colleagues in the Commons. The two parties have been in dispute since proposed elections to the House of Lords were dropped last

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Nick Clegg should say no to any link between state funding and boundary changes

It’s August, so I’m not going to take too seriously kite-flying suggestions by Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph that Nick Clegg might consider rescinding his threat that the Lib Dems will vote against boundary changes (following the Tories’ decision to break the Coalition Agreement over Lords reform) in return for a deal on party funding which would include state aid for political parties:

Here’s how it was presented to me: over the next year or so Mr Clegg will find a way to back the boundary review when it comes up for a vote in the Commons. In exchange, Mr

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Chris Rennard writes… Restoring balance to the Coalition

Nick Clegg’s statement dropping Lords Reform in this Parliament should come as no surprise following David Cameron’s failure to persuade barely half of his backbench MPs to support the Government’s Bill on this.

Two years ago, Conservative MPs were supporting a Queen’s Speech that made explicit the Coalition agreement to elect members of the House of Lords through Proportional Representation.

The Coalition Agreement is the contract that underwrites this government. In its name many Liberal Democrats have voted for compromises in legislation that we would not on our own have put forward.

So, the question is what to do when one side fails to honour its side of the contract?

You act swiftly and decisively, even ruthlessly, as Nick Clegg has done, to redress the balance. Hence, the boundary changes are no more.

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The Coalition Agreement does not commit Lib Dems to supporting boundary changes

Over the last couple of months, Conservative MPs and commentators have made great play of the fact that the Coalition Agreement does not explicitly commit the Tories to voting for House of Lords reform. Let’s remind ourselves of its words again:

We will establish a committee to bring forward proposals for a wholly or mainly elected upper chamber on the basis of proportional representation. The committee will come forward with a draft motion by December 2010. It is likely that this will advocate single long terms of office. It is also likely that there will be a grandfathering system for

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Opinion: Boundary changes are an opportunity to elect 50 MPs by PR

The current proposals for electoral boundary changes include the idea that the number of constituencies and MPs should be reduced from 650 to 600. My suggestion is this: let’s keep the overall number of MPs at 650, and let’s agree to reduce the number of constituency MPs to 600 on the condition that the other 50 (less than 10%) are elected from party lists on the basis of proportional representation.

In a democracy, all votes should be equal. Votes will never be equal in the UK until the country adopts the proportional representation (PR) voting system. Under the ‘first past the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 14 Comments
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