Sunday, November 12, 2006

Is A Brown Coalition An Orange One?

According to Jasper Gerard in CiF, Gordon Brown is courting the LibDems in the case of a hung parliament. And he is not averse to the idea of electoral reform, either. Gerard thinks Gordon wants to being his Prime Ministership in similar style to his start as Chancellor, with "fireworks" (so, we can take it a November election is on, then, lol), distancing himself from Blair as he does so. And what better way to achieve this than by changing the electoral system?

However, the problem with this (or one problem, of many) that I have pointed out repeatedly elsewhere, is that a change in the electoral system for the House of Commons could have a significant impact on what can be done to reform the upper house, the Lords. I've always found it amusing (in a slightly despairing way) that proponents of Commons electoral reform are often those who also favour an elected Lords. The problem with this is that if PR is introduced to the Commons, what system is used to elect the Lords?

(1) We can use the same system in both houses. This was Italy's style. It didn't work there. We'd end up with a duplication of houses, in terms of their composition, and the purpose of the Lords would be called into question since it would just delay the introduction of legislation, rather than amending it.

(2) We can abolish the Lords. Great way to increase the power of the Government vis a vis other political actors.

(3) We can have a system like STV (single transferable vote) in the Commons and full PR in the Lords (party list). Great. That way we can have a Lords with no independents and strong party control. Just what we wanted to achieve. Again, hardly likely to result in power being decentralised.

(4) We can use a system like AV+ or MMP in the Commons, with STV in the Lords. The flaws in this plan could be written about at great length (and they have - but Alan Johnsons seems not to have read any of it). Suffice it to say that there are strong reasons why this is a very very very stupid idea. AV+ is even dumber than MMP (I honestly think that anyone involved in designing AV+ should have their intelligence tested and their degrees and other qualifications revoked, since this idea demonstrates that they probably only obtained such qualifications through deception).

Oh. Dear.

Gordon, ask me for a copy of "Constituting the Constitution." You might find it useful.



Blogger Masqueblanche said...

Or we can just use the House of Lords as it was intended and let the peers fill it. Solves the whole problem of how to elect members, don't.

12/23/2008 5:55 AM  

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