As you know I am a supporter of changing our outdated first past the post voting system to something more proportional and fairer. I therefore think it’s a good idea to have a referendum on the Alternative Vote (AV) system. I am, however, totally opposed to the Coalition’s proposal to reduce the number of House of Commons seats to 600, which I, along with many others, view as gerrymandering for the benefit of the Tories. Putting the AV referendum and reducing the number of seats in one bill is quite shocking, a blatant bribe to get Lib-Dem MPs to vote for the reduction in seats.
Steve Richards excellent interview with David Miliband in the Independent newspaper (the whole piece is worth reading) says it all:
“Labour’s possible next leader has a direct message for Nick Clegg on electoral reform: “I am strongly in favour of the Alternative Vote, but if the Liberal Democrats want AV they are going about it very oddly. Let us be clear. They need Labour to be in favour of it, yet they support a package that includes other constitutional changes being rushed through to help the Conservatives. It’s student politics and not clever politics. If Liberal Democrats want electoral reform they should think very carefully about supporting amendments to the legislation that we are putting forward. Remember we want AV to succeed and there are Tories who oppose electoral reform who are rubbing their hands about the way the Liberal Democrats have gone about this … if we want AV, which I do, we have to find a way around this.”
My thoughts exactly and demonstrates why David Miliband is the best candidate to lead the Labour Party.