Baroness Warsi’s car-crash interview on AV

It’s not quite Jeremy Paxman vs Michael Howard, but there’s a definite echo of it with Adam Boulton’s repeated questioning and Baroness Warsi’s unwillingness to answer. So if you’ve missed it doing the rounds on Twitter and Facebook so far, here it is to enjoy (or is that suffer?):

(One point on which Adam Boulton lets Baroness Warsi get away with an inaccuracy, by the way, is on how university seat MPs used to be elected in Britain – it was by STV, so the use of transferable votes to elect British MPs is something that used to be part of the British electoral system.)

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  • Baroness Warsi:

    “You can have two or three member constituencies in terms of wards on local elections, that doesn’t actually take away from the fact that every person who goes into the ballot booth and votes actually has one vote and that vote is of equal value.”

    Except that’s not true is it, I live in a two-member ward and have two votes for the district council this year, for the parish council I have six votes (because there are six parish councillors in my ward).

  • I think actually the point Adam Boulton was trying to make in response to her hyperbole about people having fought for our system (I thought actually they fought for democracy, not first past the post) was that until (I think) 1945 graduates of certain universities (Oxford and Cambridge of course, but also some of the others) had a constituency vote and a university vote, so that in fact people were being sent to die in support of a system which gave the privileged few twice as many votes as the plebs.

  • Is this the time to point out that the University Constitiuencies were elected by STV from 1918-50? Not FPTP at all

  • conservative 23rd Apr '11 - 9:53pm

    @radical centrist
    wow that was very interesting about the AV introduction in Australia not causing compulsory voting – I must admit that I was guilty of misreading the turnout as a sign of lower apathy due to the voting system. I will still vote against AV but shall have to persuade people to join me on the other arguments against instead…nothing like a fair fight eh?

  • Surely her most embarrassing answer – and there’s a lot of competition – was “I don’t know what you mean” when Bouiton tackled her about the ludicrous argument that supporters of minority parties get more votes than supporters of larger parties. If she really doesn’t understand something as simple as that then what is she doing in the Cabinet?

  • The University seats were not abolished until 1950.

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