Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Friday, 29 May 2009

This could be the only chance

I very much hope that the current political situation results in fundamental change in our political system. God knows we need it. However, the problem is that because of our uncodified constitution and the top down nature of our system, any change has to be agreed to by a majority of MPs. And unfortunately Turkey's will not usually vote for Christmas.

I have thought for years that we need a propotional system of elections for the House of Commons. But because a new system would mean a good number of them would not be re-elected MPs under it they would not vote for a referendum on this. I have always found this incredibly frustrating because it seems to go against natural justice that MPs should be the final arbiters of the system that elects them. I feared it would never change for this reason.

Things have fundamentally changed in the last few weeks. 13 MPs have already announced that they are standing down at the next election. Before the next election there are predictions that at least 200 could have announced that they are also not standing. This gives us a unique opportunity as perhaps a third of the Commons will not have a vested interest in the existing system.

They would be doing their country a great service for the future if they were to honestly listen to the arguments and re-enfranchise the millions of people whose votes currently don't count.

We may never get a chance like the next few months could yield again.

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