The Truth About IPP Sentences

First past the post must be replaced

If the Prime Minister, David Cameron thinks that he will easily persuade people to keep the existing voting system, then he’d better think again.  On the other hand, if Nick Clegg thinks that he is going to win an easy victory, then he too should reconsider.

It is also worth remembering that Tony Blair won three elections on less than 25% of the popular vote and managed to stay in power for 13 years.  It is probably fair to say that nobody wants to go through that again.

It is of course true that no voting system is totally democratic and no voting system is totally fair.  However, it is equally true that it cannot be right that an MP should remain in power for 35 years based on a handful of votes, which is what tends to happen at the moment.

Whilst AV may not be the solution to all our problems, it may very well offer a useful alternative.  Anything that makes our current voting more fair must be worth considering.  If the intention is that the will of the people should be reflected in the government that is elected, then the current system fails miserably.

At present, the size of the constituency does not matter and therefore a handful of votes can have a disproportionate effect on the overall result.  This is why we currently have the situation where once elected, MPs can often stay in power not just for 10 or 20 years but some of them for 40 years.  However you look at it, this cannot be right.

Many of the new MPs sitting in the House of Commons have had no experience of real life at all, having gone from university into a job as a researcher or as an assistant with no experience of life in between.  Under the present “First Past the Post” system it is quite possible that they may remain an MP for the next 40 years and yet still have no experience of life.

After the last election, we ended up with a hung parliament and despite the pessimistic predictions, it seems to be working.  Certainly, it is not working perfectly but no government ever does.

The fact that we now have a coalition government in power means that people work together, whether they want to or not.  Under the First Past the Post system, this would never happen.  Instead, we would end up with the sort of pseudo-dictatorship that we had under Blair and his cronies. Therefore, anything that replaces a similar injustice must be worth considering.

Conservative MPs in particular love the First Past the Post post system because it keeps them in power and therefore keeps them in a well-paid job for life, while the rest of us suffer as a result.  It is precisely this “Job for Life” attitude, inexorably promoted by the present voting system that is responsible for complacency and arrogance of such a grand order that we now have MPs being convicted and being sent to jail.

Whilst it is perfectly true that the Alternative Voting System is something new and perhaps misunderstood, it is equally true that we need something different to that which we currently have.  Or to put it another way, although the mathematics are more complicated, the end result of the Alternative Voting System is likely to be more fair than what we currently have.
believes very firmly that the Alternative Voting System should be given a chance.  This is the first opportunity in 200 years that the people have had to seriously revise the way in which we elect MPs.

Whichever party you support, whoever you are inclined to vote for, if elected under the present system your next MP will not do the best job that they can.  On the contrary, they will do everything they can to stay in power whilst making as much money as possible and at the same time promote his or her own interests above those of their constituents.

The arguments against the Alternative Voting System is that it is different, complicated and untried.  It is therefore worth remembering that the First Past the Post system was also different, complicated and untried when it was first introduced.  On that basis, there is certainly no excuse for not trying a new and different system.

The Conservative party will inevitably want to keep the existing system because that is the system that kept them in power for so many years.  The great majority of Conservative MPs still think that they are living in the 19th century, completely unaware of the fact that the world i which we now live is a different place to the one they remember.  That is why they find it so difficult to comprehend anything that is new or different, let alone contemplate a new voting system that will almost certainly make it more difficult for them to stay in power.

Other countries in Europe are used to having coalition governments; for the UK this is a new experience and one about which nobody is yet certain.  Nevertheless, we seem to be getting some half reasonable results from this new system of government.  Take for example the new Freedom Bill which might possibly reintroduce a measure of normality and degree of sanity to the British way of life.  Such a bill would never have been possible if the Conservative party had been in power alone.
urges all its visitors to give the Alternative Voting System a chance.  Not to do so may very well condemn the UK to another 10, 20 or even 30 years of the nonsense that we have had to suffer over the last two decades.

It is hard to believe that anybody really wants a repeat performance of something which has done this country so much damage and made its citizens so resentful of the government that they themselves elected.

One Response to First past the post must be replaced

  1. Malcolm Wilkinson
    February 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Yes I agree completely. The trouble is mainstream curriculum at most schools does not feature political studies. Perhaps it should be up there with english, maths and religious studies. Therefore most of us have little undertanding of the political process and are taught to value & pursue the parochial, such as a new sofa or TV set and the X factor. Sad really but it serves to perpetuate the status quo. Now that has got to benefit somebody.

    I am sure that if the fog of our understanding was lifted the tories would never get another look in, unless of course they changed radically. As they stand currently. I think they should be nationalised and placed in a museum where, lets face it they belong.

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