Electoral reform news: peers don’t like democracy, but Labour candidate who lost on vote transfers backs AV

From The Independent:

Clegg: peers are holding Government hostage…

In acrimonious clashes, they warned the Deputy Prime Minister that they would fight his proposals every step of the way…

The show-down – described by one participant as “Daniel in the lion’s den” – came at a meeting between Clegg and members of a cross-party group campaigning against the plans. More than 50 peers from all major parties were present, including the former Liberal leader Lord Steel of Aikwood.

Shock news there, that peers who are against elections are against plans to introduce elections – though the presence of David Steel is disappointing.

Meanwhile, the BBC has the news of Labour’s former Mayor candidate in Stoke, who would have won under first past the post but even so is supporting the alternative vote:

In 2002 the Labour favourite George Stevenson lost out on becoming directly elected mayor by 314 votes – despite winning the most first votes…

The system he lost out on was called Supplementary Vote, which differs to AV in only allowing the top two candidates to reach a second round.

Speaking from his home near Alicante, former Stoke-on-Trent South MP Mr Stevenson said AV was a fairer version of the current system.

He said: “What we failed to understand is we should campaign for second preference. We, as politicians, have to change the way we approach the electoral process.

“[AV] gives you an opportunity to come in contact with a wider cross-section of society.”

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10 Comments

  • Depressed Ex Lib Dem 15th Jan '11 - 1:51pm

    “The Cabinet is expected to back moves to create an upper chamber that is 80 per cent elected, although some coalition ministers want to go further and make it fully elected.”

    80% elected. Sounds like another issue on which the coalition has “compromised” by …………… adopting the Tory policy!

  • @Depressed Ex Lib Dem

    I’m pretty sure that the Tories don’t want an elected Lords at all.

  • Depressed Ex Lib Dem 15th Jan '11 - 3:05pm

    “I’m pretty sure that the Tories don’t want an elected Lords at all.”

    Not being telepathic, I couldn’t comment on that. But a “mainly-elected second chamber” was in the Conservative manifesto, and in the last parliament Cameron voted in favour of 80% being elected.

  • “peers don’t like democracy”

    At least one is quoted asking for a referendum. This was in the Labour manifesto and a positive result would have given Clegg the mandate to proceed. I firmly believe in a democratic upper chamber and would certainly vote yes. I do understand some peoples concerns at experience and talent that could be lost and therefore believe there are arguments for the chamber to include non-voting experts to work or advise at committee stages etc.

  • Depressed Ex Lib Dem 15th Jan '11 - 8:21pm

    So the argument is that agreeing to the Tory policy is OK as a “compromise” because you don’t think they really meant it? Is it any wonder that the party doesn’t come across as robust enough in its negotiations with the Tories?

  • Tony Greaves 15th Jan '11 - 10:45pm

    A wholly or mainly elected Upper House has been Liberal Democrat policy for a long time.

    Tony Greaves (who last time round voted for 100% and nothing else).

  • Depressed Ex Lib Dem 16th Jan '11 - 12:18am

    George

    Gee, thanks, but really the last thing I wanted to hear was that the Lib Dem policy would be very difficult to implement, so you’d be really happy if the Tory policy was implemented instead. Talk about “not getting it” …

  • Any other LibDem peers (apart from Steel) involved in this shameful campaign?

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