Déjà vu all over again: what the 1974 Liberal Party manifesto said

This election will make or break Britain. It is already certain that the government that takes office after the election will face the greatest peace-time crisis we have known since the dark days of 1931… Before any government can begin to get to grips with the economic situation, it must regain the confidence and respect of the electorate.

A big tip of LDV’s hat to Rudolf Fara, co-director of Voting Power and Procedures (VPP) at the LSE (via Politics.co.uk) for pointing out the similarity.

Mr Fara, who was speaking ahead of a lecture last night by Vince Cable setting out his vision for a proportional representative electoral system, noted:

While PR was a perennial fixture of Liberal manifestos, educating the electorate in voting systems was then a subject too complex for an electoral campaign [in 1974].

“Since EU membership and elections the voters are considerably more aware of system differences. Now the choices between the voting systems advocated by the main parties are distinct: PR for the Lib-Dems, First-Past-The-Post for the Conservatives and for Labour, the Alternative Vote system,” he added.

“It’s fair to ask whether party preferences of voting system should now be an electoral issue spelled out explicitly in their respective manifestos.”

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  • Isn’t ‘ahead of’ used to describe something just before an event, whereas before could be at any point. So, you might say ‘ahead of’ in the way you would say ‘in the run up to’?

    Just a thought – perhaps wrong!

  • Andrew Suffield 29th Jan '10 - 10:45am

    30 years and we still don’t have STV in England. Sigh.

    Still, some progress – Scotland and Ireland have it.

  • Sir Marcus Browning thinks we’re facing the gravest economic crisis since 1380

  • How about “Just before”?

  • Thinking about it, “before” doesn’t mean the same at all. Ahead of and In the run-up to imply a direct link with the event, and are all part of the process / sequence of events. Before or Just before don’t necessarily show any operational link, as it were. I am afraid I use “in the run-up to”, but it is a bit of a cliche!

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