Author Archives: Kev O'Connor

Opinion: Let’s switch the P-word

As we start to prepare for a referendum on the Alternative Vote, two words are bothering me. They are Proportional Representation. These words massively simplify the possibilities of electoral reform and unfortunately cloud the issue.

Some talk about ‘Electoral Reform’, but this is far to vague for a referendum and I believe we need a new mantra. Not PR or ER, but PV. Preferential Voting.

This may sound like a tedious matter of semantics, but when it comes to elections and referenda, the structure of your rhetoric will determine the nature of the debate, and the eventual outcome. Switching the ‘P-word’ could …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 39 Comments

Opinion: Time for outdated economics to be put to bed

I have for a long time been a strong critic of modern socialists. Partly because I am a strong critic of socialism, but primarily because they are so out of sync with the modern world. When the red flag was first raised in the Merthyr uprising, it was a logical response to the appalling conditions imposed upon the world’s first industrial workers.

But now, a century and a half on, we are challenging the majority of councillors and political activists in Merthyr who still hark for their fabled socialist solution. Whilst it may have helped in the nineteenth century, socialism …

Posted in Op-eds and Wales | Tagged , and | 11 Comments

Opinion: A Brighter Euro-Vision?

Next year all of Wales and much of England go to the polls for local elections. If there hasn’t already been one before then, there may well be a general election too. With all this electoral excitement ahead it would be easy, and in many people’s eyes, preferable, to not think about that looming cloud that is the 2009 European elections.

Let’s face it, we haven’t had a great deal to celebrate in European elections in the past. In our first ever round Euros as the Liberal Democrats we polled a record low for a national election – just 6.2% and less than half the tally of the Green Party. Its not got much better since either. Our 16% in 1994 was our peak and last time around we came fourth again – stumbling home behind the UKIP.

But there are reasons to be optimistic for 2009. In 2004 our vote actually went up on the 1999 figures, and since then we have had a series of good results each year. We are in a far stronger position than we were in 1999 and are polling consistently higher than we did those 8 long years ago.

Posted in Op-eds | 13 Comments

Recent Comments

  • Nigel Quinton
    Excellent article. For many who feel ignored it is possible to offer positive messages that will counter the populist nonsense from Farage et al. I used to reck...
  • David Franks
    The less publicity Farage and his bunch of Fascists gets the better. They use the standard extremist right wing tactic of inventing a grievance and then identif...
  • Geoffrey Payne
    Reform managed to get nearly 5,000 people to a rally just before the general election. I wonder how many other political parties could do that? To be fair from...
  • Fiona
    I think that's where the various Farage offerings succeed - they are good at selling their message as 'common sense' and logical and simply being rational. They...
  • Peter Martin
    " Patriots for Europe is a political oxymoron.." Why? I don't see the contradiction. However, if you'd said "Patriots for the European Union ....