Monday, 26 July 2010

I agree with Early Day Motion opposing Coalition's timetable for AV vote

As per the Conservative Home blog '44 Tory MPs sign Early Day Motion opposing Coalition's timetable for AV vote'. and Benedict Brogan Blog 'Bernard Jenkin lines up his Tories against AV '. I find myself agreeing with this motion. As a supporter of voting reform I find this a strange situation to agree with Bernard Jenkins Conservative MP who is a supporter of FPTP.

I agree for different ideological reasons but I also believe the date is wrong. I think a fair time to have the referendum would be Thursday, 5th June, 2014 during the euro elections. Because the whole country will be voting, I know there is a low turnout for the Euros but there is also a low turnout for most other voters.

I blogged my reasons why in this posting 'Is the AV referendum badly timed'.

Bernard Jenkins does have some good points in the statement.


That this House notes that in 2002 the Electoral Commission, following consultations on the holding of a possible referendum on the Euro on the same day as other elections on 1 May 2003, issued a statement making clear that referendums on fundamental issues of national importance should be considered in isolation and that they should not be held at the same time as devolved assembly or local government elections; further notes that in a recent report the House of Lords Constitution Committee recommended that there should be a presumption against holding referendums on the same day as elections; recognises that this advice is in accordance with best constitutional practice in countries such as Switzerland, where referendums are more regularly held; believes that this constitutional practice should be observed unless there are very exceptional reasons for it to be set aside; is concerned at the proposal to hold the referendum on whether to change the voting system on 5 May 2011, which is the same day as elections to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and to local authorities in Northern Ireland, but only in parts of England; further believes that this proposal would allow other issues to cloud the referendum debate before the vote, would artificially inflate turnout in some parts of the country but not others, and that it may accordingly advantage one campaign at the expense of the other; proposes that any referendum on this issue should therefore be held on a different date; and looks forward to advice from the Electoral Commission on this matter which is consistent with its previous statements.

I believe it will allow other issues (mainly party politics) to cloud the vote.

It would mean that other parts of the country would have a bigger say due to turnout.

The campaign I think needs more time.

A loss for this vote is a risk for the Liberal Democrats as we can't then claim to have AV in our back pocket, question would be asked by Liberal Democrats on the coalition.

The current low support for the Liberal Democrats could also effect the vote for AV as it maybe seen as a pro Lib Dem vote if we do not get another support from some Labour and Conservative MP's.

This is a major and inportant vote and should not be confussed by other campaigns. What better time to vote for a new voting system then when you are already voting in a proportional system (all be it regional).

There would of been 4 years of a working coalition why upset the boat now.

I would add that the this vote does not have to be during the Euro elections but I feel it should be later than next year and not during the Scottish Parliament or National Assembly for Wales elections.

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