LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott – David Cameron has to come round on electoral reform

Over at The Guardian’s Comment is Free website, the former Conservative MEP Edward McMillan-Scott, who defected to the Lib Dems earlier this year, argues that both principle and practicality dictate that Conservatives must rethink their stubborn opposition to proportional representation. Here’s an excerpt:

David Cameron talks irrationally about the power to sack a government, when, in reality, the only voters properly enfranchised in the UK are those in marginal seats – and these have been bought, he hopes, with Lord Ashcroft’s millions. …

Having chaired numerous observer missions, often organised through the EU’s Democracy Instrument, which I founded in 1990, I would contend that no stretch of the rules could find our electoral system “fair”. …

There is a need for a national debate about a genuinely fair electoral system, and this election must be the catalyst. Before I fell out with the Conservative party, I discussed with Dominic Grieve, shadow justice secretary, the possibility of setting up a working group on electoral reform.

They’ll need it now.

You can read Edward’s article in full here.

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  • Greenmail48 27th Apr '10 - 5:22pm

    So David Cameron wants a Big Society… that case, why does he refuse to ask US how WE would like to vote for OUR MPs?

    It is impossible to understand why the Tories support “first past the post” when one considers that it’s Labour that benefits most from this system……to say nothing of the basic fairness of a PR form of voting.

    A committment to a Referendum on our voting system is the least we can expect!

  • Andrew Suffield 27th Apr '10 - 8:09pm

    Oh, it’s easy enough to understand Tory support for the broken system. It gives them five years of near-dictatorship over the country, as long as they can keep their own MPs in line. They love the power, and accept that the system must sometimes deliver it to other people. He’s going to oppose anything that might disrupt this, including fair voting and “sack your MP” proposals.

    Basically, Cameron wants to be King. He doesn’t want to be a party leader that has to convince people to agree with him, he wants to order them to agree with him.

  • George Kendall 29th Apr '10 - 1:27am

    I wonder if Cameron’s public attacks on the Clegg “holding the country to ransom” will backfire.

    To me, it sounds just like Hague’s claim of “ten days to save the pound”, when he claimed that only a Conservative victory in 2001 would prevent the Euro replacing the pound. Of course, no one but rabid eurosceptics took it seriously, because Blair had promised a referendum.

    And we’ve promised a referendum on electoral reform too. Maybe something for Clegg to mention in passing in the coming debate?

  • John Haywood 4th May '10 - 10:21am

    If MEPs are selected by PR to represent a party, then if they change party how can they continue to be a MEP.

    Edward McMillan-Scott should resign and stand for re-election.

    This makes a farce of PR as sought by the Libdems.

    Edward talks about power to sack a Government – how do we sack a MEP?


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