'Nip and Tuck' Reform or Radical Change ? Letter to the Herald Express 260509
Letter (unedited) to the Torbay 'Herald Express' sent 260509 :
Much recent debate on parliamentary reform has, understandably, focused on MP's expenses. However the real debate is much wider than this.
Do you want a voting system that accurately reflects the voting strength of political parties and individual politicians ? STV, a proportional system, offers a fairer voting system that would more accurately reflect the will of electors at local ()elections, including quite probably Labour, UKIP and Independent representation in the bay at council level, which is largely denied by the current electoral system. Nationally, do you want a representative parliament, one where every vote cast counts ? Or do you want a party having absolute power at Westminster with in all probability less than a 40% share of the popular vote ? If you want 'fair votes' you'll need to vote Lib Dem.
Do you think that an upper house with law framing capabilities but elected by, and therefore unaccountable to, no-one is right ? Real reform is offered by the Lib Dems who seek elections to a reformed House of Lords. Likewise do you think donations from individuals or corporate bodies should turn marginal seats into a contest of cash reserves rather than political ideas ? If so, then vote for the Tories or Labour. and the vested interests that financially back them. The Tories, infamously, have received huge sums from Lord Ashcroft and others in an attempt to 'buy' marginal seats like Torbay. Nick Clegg of the Lib Dems seeks to limit individual donations to political parties to restrict such practices.
Whilst I welcome David Cameron's backing for fixed term parliaments, his remarks that the use of the royal prerogative which allows the prime minister, in the name of the monarch, to make major decisions without the backing of Parliament, would be limited and supporting greater auditing of expense claims, the response is, as Nick Clegg leader of the Liberal Democrats says, one of 'nip and tuck' reform. If you really want to refashion politics at Westminster, and more locally, then only the Lib Dems offer such with conviction. Are you ready to vote for real change or do you seek 'business as usual' from our politicians ?