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A Party to Enact Voting Reform?

May 12, 2017

This post is to explore the idea suggested by Jon Sessions of forming a political party to secure proportional representation. This recognises the difficulties of forming an effective ‘Progressive Alliance’ to oppose the Conservative Party in the forthcoming election. The idea of a progressive alliance has been especially promoted by the Green Party though it has had some support from the Lib Dems. Whereas the Greens have backed down in a couple of constituencies and the Lib Dems have withdrawn in Brighton Pavilion, the Labour Party has not reciprocated. Apparently its constitution forbids it. In Jeremy Hunt’s constituency where an independent is standing to try and unseat him, the Constituency Labour Party decided to withdraw, but their decision was overturned by the centre, and two local Labour activists have been expelled from the party. This finally convinced Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas to say enough is enough; the Green will fight every seat, see

Decisions to co-operate can be tricky, for example in the recent Dorset County elections a very popular Labour councillor lost his seat to a Conservative. The local Green Party regretted this result which may not have transpired if the Green Party candidate had stood down. However this result could not reasonably have been predicted, and the Labour candidate had indicated he was not actively campaigning. The Green Party felt it had been right to stand everywhere on the basis of the information we had.

We can do nothing before the forthcoming election on June 8th, so we are thinking about a future election which could be in 2022, or in a couple of year’s time if it is realised Britain has made a huge mistake in deciding to leave the EU. We could threaten to field candidates to oppose progressive party candidates in winnable seats unless certain conditions are met. We do not need to register a new party for this; they would be formally independent. The conditions are:

a. That all ‘progressive’ parties make proportional representation their policy.

b. That it is recognised that AV, AV+ as defined in the Jenkins report, and Hansard AMS are unacceptable.

c. That no party’s constitution should prevent an alliance.

d. That active discussions on interparty co-operation commence in each constituency by October 2017.

This would be a wrecking action which would not result in legislation being brought forward to achieve PR in the ensuing parliament. There is a good chance that the progressive parties would regard our threat as not credible.

There are several possible outcomes to the forthcoming election, but the most likely is a Conservative win with increased majority. The economy might not suffer too much as a result of Brexit, and voters may accept the scrapping of environmental legislation and restrictions of our freedom of expression. The destruction of the NHS, which it will not be possible to reverse for a generation at least, will however give the Conservatives some problems. This could cause a Conserevative split.

I think we have to wait for June 9th before deciding what to do.

If the Labour Party does not split irrevocably after the election then MVM should be campaigning for them not only to adopt PR as their policy but also modify their constitution to allow alliances under certain circumstances.

From → Democracy

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