Will Cameron support electoral reform?
Time to remind you what the voting reform referendum might look like (click here for a pdf), according to the advertising agencies The Independent on Sunday commissioned last month.
Now the question is: what positions do David Cameron and the Conservative Party take on the voting reform referendum? It was asked, with prescient timing, by David Aaronovitch in The Times this week (pay wall).
For the reason the Great Ronnie gives, namely that it would weaken the coalition to lose the referendum, I do not believe that Cameron is going to continue to say that he prefers the existing X-voting to the Alternative Vote (preference voting). I guess that he would, at the least, adopt a neutral position.
Update: With embarrassing timing, a No 10 spokesman has just confirmed that Cameron will campaign against AV, according to Lucy Manning of ITN News. Which makes the title of this post number 357 in my series. Oh well. As you were.
Would Cameron go further and come out in support of the Alternative Vote, as Michael Portillo urged him before the election to do?.
There is the slight problem of what Cameron said before the election, to Jane Merrick and me:
electoral reform, headline
My problem is I don’t see AV as effective reform, because you keep the constituency link, but you could end up with a more disproportionate result. It seems to me AV doesn’t really do it. I remember from my studies when I was studying under the great Vernon Bogdanor, STV, you can make lots of arguments for it because you are able to choose between candidates of a party so there’s some choice involved. The problem is you lose the constituency link. I think of my own county of Oxfordshire, this is exactly what would happen with STV – everyone would spend all their time in Banbury and Oxford and little old Witney and Carterton and Chipping Norton would never get a bloody look in. So you lose the constituency link. And that I think in all that’s wrong with our politics I think something really to hold on to is this link. Even as Leader of the Opposition, there’s not much that happens in Chipping Norton or on the housing estates of Witney or in the RAF mess at Carterton that I don’t know about. That’s the great strength of our system. And also being able to throw out the Government. So I am, have been, for as long as I can remember, opposed to electoral reform.
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