As everyone knows, I'm a great supporter of PR, in particularly STV, and not a foul-weather friend like Gordon Brown (my election 2005 first thoughts were "55% of the seats on 36% of the vote though. Can we have PR?"). Thus I was quite surprised last night in Nick Clegg's interview
to see that he didn't seem to be aware that a party could win most votes but not most seats. It was quite strange - he genuinely didn't seem to understand
Paxman's point. I guess he might have been pretending not to understand, in order to ignore it, and I suppose it would hardly lose him votes.
I don't understand why people think it's wrong for governments to keep having referenda until they get the result they want. The idea behind a referendum is that a particular issue is so important you need to get the public's view, or if you are pushing a particular policy, their consent. If this is right thing to do once it's the right thing to do as many times as you want to do it. One has to assume people understand the question they are being asked, the implications for saying 'yes' or 'no', and if they were annoyed by being asked again they would vote accordingly. The critics seem to be saying: "Blimey, the general public are so stupid they can't see (unlike myself) that they are being manipulated" which is a strange position to take if you support the idea of referenda.
A general election every day
I think I've got it. I was toying with the idea that it would be sensible to copy the Senate, and re-elect a third of parliament every two years. It would certainly keep the government on its toes, but would surely also mean constant electioneering. And then it struck me - constant electioneering - what an idea. Why not re-elect every seat equally staggered over five years? Five years multiplied by 51 weeks (Christmas break) is 255, so if we have two a week, say Sunday and Thursday, that makes 510 MPs. This is slightly fewer than have we now, so we could either reduce the number of MPs, or there could be simply be another on Tuesdays of every other week.
Think of the benefits. 'Political junkies' would actually come to resemble real junkies, having stayed up to 4am two or three times a week for the results. Opinion polls would become unnecessary, as there would be a real election every day. A government in trouble, like now, would be able to count the number of weeks until it lost its majority (about 20 weeks at this rate) and would be forced to make ever more ludicrous efforts to turn the country around. And countless more advantages.
Euro election results
Of course Labour's share of the vote
will be pitiful, they only seem to have put candidates up in the UK region. But what time will we get the results? Do they slowly release them from about 3am to give it a feel of a normal election night?
The London Mayor
Well that was almost easy. As I scanned the ballot paper I saw the fascists, the man who apparently is in alliance with fascists, the one who looks like a fascist, and then the one who just might be a fascist. And then I saw it - it said "Vote Matt". The ballot paper was speaking to me. Here was my candidate.
He's a bit disappointing, however. You can't have much confidence in a man whose election literature has a more prominent
picture of another party's politician than of the candidate and who apparently has already dropped out of the race. Oh, and apparently he's a Father4Justice. So a 2nd preference then.
For the London Assembly candidate I went with my traditional policy of voting for the candidate who lives closest to me. This was a Lib Dem.
ps Why in the 'about Matt O'Connor'
section does he get a good write up from so many men's magazines such as Esquire and GQ? Does the F4J play well with their readers. But..."“Captain of Dad’s Army”, GQ Magazine, 2005" - is surely nonsense? The Captain of Dad's Army was Captain Mainwaring.
Former Conservative voter will switch to Labour at next election
news for Gordon Brown in a week without much. He seems to have swung one formerly Tory voter in a marginal constituency. Is it too late for a November election?
Labels: elections, Gordon Brown, Labour
The decision not to have an election is of course the right one. The political system might be increasingly presidential, but it is not, and for individual MPs it would be difficult to explain why they felt the need to get another mandate from the electorate given they don't.
On the other hand the system where the PM gets to call an election is ridiculous. The Lib Dems have suggested fixed terms, which I would agree, and admid the flying pigs, Gordon Brown should announce now that the next election will be held in May 2009 (I think June is getting too much into summer). He should also announce that it will be held under PR, but maybe I'm getting slightly ahead of myself.