Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Cameron claims to like reasoned argument but fails to provide balance on AV

Do you remember what David Cameron said about his coalition partners back on 18 March just after we knew we were having the referendum we are having on Thursday?


I guess not and neither I feel had he. Let me remind us all.

"Nick Clegg and I have discovered we agree on key elements on programmes for national renewal.

"....And we have tried to deliver this agenda in a different way.

"Rational debate, not tribal dividing lines.

"Reasoned announcements, not headline grabbing statements.

"And where there are differences of opinion between us - not rancour but respect."

Then why oh why, has he taken the line of some of the unreasoned, untruthful announcements from the No2AV campaign?

Why has he said that the way that AV works is too complex? When actually it is less complex than the system by which he was elected leader. Why does he say it isn't fair when the system that he was elected leader by is far from fair? To be elected leader of the Conservative Party one group of voters get to choose between candidates. The one with the lowest number of votes is knocked out, then they get to vote again, maybe even changing that vote as they see who may not have a chance, even if they had more than someone else who might be knocked out later. This is repeated until there are only two left. Then a much larger number of people get to vote on who is left, even if maybe the person that the larger group wanted most was knocked out by the small clique.

Why does he propagate the lie that counting machines will be needed? As this is something that has been denied by the Treasury is he actually in breach of the ministerial code? If he is should he be reported to himself or made to tender to himself his resignation.

You see when it comes to AV David Cameron appears to have lost all sense of reason. He appears to have lost the ability to hold a cognitive argument. He says that AV will be of a benefit to the Lib Dems, whilst ignoring the fact that FPTP has been disproportionately of benefit to the Conservatives and to a lesser extend Labour since there was a rise of a stronger third party and other smaller parties in the UK.

Also on that day David Cameron said the following I'm fisking in red:

I passionately believe that politics has to change.

It has to change because frankly, in too many ways the political system is broken. Yeah even Dave knows the system is broken. Isn't FPTP also a broken out of date system in our multi-party system though?

And that's why this coalition is committed to sweeping reform.

We are making votes fairer - by levelling up the size of the constituencies so that every vote weighs the same.
As I pointed out yesterday, not every vote under FPTP weighs the same. Some are cast with a heavy heart, because the candidate most wanted is not always able to overcome someone that is no longer wanted. So some of our candidates already have their vote gloated by the tactical votes of others, inflating their popularity.

We are making politics cheaper - by cutting the size of Parliament, cutting Ministers' pay and sorting out expenses. If this comes in alone without AV it will have a net effect of benefiting Cameron's party. There is no check then in the number of votes cast. As there was almost a total consultation of the public on how the new seats were to be formed it could lead to gerrymandering of the areas. As it is these will be changed every election to fit with population changes. I'm not opposed to the reduction, but they were part of a package that was being put forward by myself and others in the past.

We are making politics - and government - more accountable, by removing the Prime Minister's power to set the date of an election…Hear, hear. But we are still letting a PM be so when maybe 65% of the people haven't given a vote to his candidates. Indeed 70% of people who voted haven't given a vote to their MP across the country. Not surprisingly it has more often in the last 100 years that Labour have had to call the most early elections because they haven't always had overwhelming support. Apart from the Blair landslides it is most often the Conservatives that have had a working majority for the greatest percentage of the time.

…and introducing new rights for constituents to recall MPs who break the rules and new powers for Parliament to oversee the Executive. Here, here once more. But without AV we are not letting a majority have their say at the end of a fixed five year term, not for breaking the rules but for broken promises, failing to life up to expectations or not doing the job that the people expected them to do. Some of those who failed last parliament to live up to their constituents hopes and expectations did survive, but in some cases the vote against them was split enough that though bigger, meant that they got in with far less than 50% support.

But above all, and most importantly, we are putting power directly into the hands of people. Actually David AV gives a lot more power to the people than the parties. At present your party machine may see a nice seat with about 37-40% support as somewhere you can gift to a loyal wannabe MP. But because two other parties, are equally matched it makes it safe enough to be a career move for that bright young thing. The other parties may have local people who know the local issues are very good at that, but a party can parachute in someone to just such a position and because the party support is there they will get elected, despite all the hard work others have been doing (and probably will continue to do) locally.

So David sadly you're not giving a whole balanced package of reform, beyond any reason of fairness you've just gone with the ones which are of a benefit to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment