Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Channel 4 - Response to electoral system e-mail

Further to my post earlier on, Gary Gibbon, the political editor of Channel 4 news has sent a group email out to the various people who contacted him about this issue. It is as follows:

Dear All ,

With varying degrees of warmth/hostility, you all make similar points.

I am, therefore, unusually, writing a group e-mail to thank you for getting in touch.

For as long as first past the post elections exist for Westminster you will be frustrated and we will be forced to analyse the system we have. As we've made clear on the previous occasions we have polled marginal constituencies on Channel 4 News, we do so in part to replicate what the main political parties are doing, and give our viewers insights into what the party strategists are poring over. This includes a certain party that passionately supports PR but has to win seats under the current system.

Our coverage frequently engages with those who are not in marginal seats and will continue to do so.

I can't help thinking that your anger, where it was registered, is really directed at the government and certain political leaders ... not at us. I certainly hope so.

Thanks again for your interest.

Gary Gibbon

(Political Editor, Channel 4 News)

I suppose his point is fair but although my e-mail was not angry as such I was directing my comments at Channel 4 News. The government and main opposition party have a vested interest in the existing system as has been demostrated by Labour's refusal to honour its 1997 manifesto commitment to hold a referendum on electoral reform. I will continue to press this issue at events where senior politicians are present and join in campaigns aimed at them, however I have come to the conclusion that it will take grassroots campaigning to bring this issue to the fore so that government and parliament cannot ignore the issue and news organisations like Channel 4 can help by not just going along with the existing system but questioning why only a few thousand votes in marginal constituencies really count.

No comments: