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parrot_knight [userpic]

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill

January 11th, 2011 (10:46 am)

I've just watched some of yesterday's Lords debate on the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill. If Ed Milliband was looking for examples of Liberal Democrats held hostage in the Conservatives' car boot, there were no better ones than Lords Wallace of Tankerness and McNally, huddled close on the government front bench without a Conservative in sight, while opposition peers - led by former lord chancellor and present shadow justice minister Lord Falconer of Thoroton - laid into the lack of research behind the government's proposals for the equalization of representation and the flaws in the government case, drawing on research by (among others) Lewis Baston published at the LSE politics and policy blog. Wallace, speaking for the government, was unable to refute many of Falconer's charges. A sad state of affairs for the party of democratic reform.


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: January 11th, 2011 11:38 am (UTC)

Whatever they consciously chose, I doubt it was this.

Posted by: nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk)
Posted at: January 11th, 2011 12:29 pm (UTC)

I have always liked Spock's line from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, "What you want is irrelevent; what you have chosen is at hand."

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: January 11th, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
Spock annual 1975

I concede that there is a parallel there...

Posted by: Andy (alitalf)
Posted at: January 11th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)

I know little of the politicking around this issue, so my only comments are:

I'd prefer, all else being roughly equal, that each constituency had about the same number of voters.

If Lord Falconer said it was raining, I would look out of the window before picking up my umbrella.

Since some people reckon that about a third, and others say over two thirds, of legislation in the UK is mandated by the EU, I would think that *at least* a one third reduction in MPs would be justified, and probably a noticeable reduction in high paid ministry staff as well.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: January 11th, 2011 03:32 pm (UTC)

I think there is a case for defined communities being respected, hence my sympathy for Lewis Baston's proposed 10% variant rule.

One of Labour's arguments against the coalition's policy is that there is no guarantee that the payroll vote of ministers in parliament will be reduced in line with the number of MPs, potentially weakening the backbenches as a check on the executive.