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Monday, June 01, 2009

PR Referendum now doubtful

Momentum for a referendum on PR to be conducted at the same time as the next General Election has stalled after supporters failed to agree on how the referendum should be conducted.

Supporters of the status quo argued that voters should vote for the system they liked the most, and the voting system with the most support should be used for the following election. But advocates of PR retorted that this method could ensure the incumbent voting system won without a clear majority of the electorate supporting it, and might force more radical systems geeks into second-guessing the preferences of others and voting for a system they hated less than FPTP, instead of the one the liked the most.

Others said voting systems should be ranked in order of preference, with the top three used to elect separate candidates in supersized constituencies, giving voters a "real choice" of system "not just once, but every election."

But there were worries that without a system of open primaries to decide which systems went to the vote, a referendum could place too much power in the hands of intellectuals, who would limit the range of options from which the electorate could choose.

Tory leader David Cameron quickly announced he backed all the options, and would "strongly consider" them if elected.

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About Me

Back after an extended exile from blogging. Depressing to be in opposition but likely to prompt more posts here.