And another thing Clegg should do!

As if my shopping list for Nick Clegg’s priorities wasn’t already long enough, I also think this whole expenses furore is the absolutely perfect hook for the root and branch electoral reform the Liberal Democrats have been advocating since the dawn of recorded time.

It’s maybe not one for immediate execution, while public anger abates and basic reparations and undertakings are being made (see my previous post).

But the kind of systemic corruption that has been exposed over the past week is clearly linked to our topsey-turvey electoral and constitutional system. Cicero explains in more detail, and I see the Speccie are making the same point. Their main call is for Clegg to lead the assassination squad of Michael Martin, which I don’t happen to think is necessarily essential in itself, but as part of a much wider seizing of the reform initiative it makes a lot of sense.

We’ve been struggling to make PR sexy for years – are we ever going to get a better shot than this?

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  • Exactly right Alix, and we are not the only ones thinking along these lines, I have heard several commentators making similar noises.

    And what about the “Lords”?

  • Disgust with the whole political system is the perfect backdrop for absolute reform.

    A modern, understandable, equal and accessable system could restore public confidence and increase the ‘attractiveness’ of politics.


    Abolishing the Lords
    Seperation of Church and State
    Losing the FPTP system
    Abolishing archaic conventions (black rod ceremony, mandatory prayers, ‘naming’ members, lack of discussion about the monarchy in the house, the oath, archaic language etc…

    And of course the establishment of a written constitution, with an impeachment -type process for removing members and a code of practice which elected members could not ignore.

  • I’m not sure if PR will ever be “sexy” but it certainly needs to be shown to be workable and understandable to those outside the chattering classes. At the last Scottish elections we had FPTP, STV and party list on two ballot papers….

    PR yes – but perhaps just good old STV for all elections.


  • Mr Quist

    Would you want voters to be able to remove MPs at special elections or just in the general election?

  • This is totally spot on. We Lib Dems should be shouting about (a) courageous MPs like Norman Baker who have been campaigning on MPs expenses for years and (b)the need to reform voting.

    By the way, do we have a policy about voting on Thursdays? It is totally mad to hold it then and not at the weekend.

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