Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Mr 10 Percent can I have some more Please!

David Cameron has proposed a number of reforms that he plans to implement if the Conservatives are elected.

I am not going to go over all these reforms here as they have been well reported on. However one of the proposals is reducing the number of MP's by 10 percent from 650 to 585. This on the face of it appears to be a good idea however;

This would result in ever more people not being represented unless we change the voting system to a proportional one. This is because at the moment under the first past the post system we have way too many safe seats (see Mark Reakons report here) Since the 1970 some 50% of seats have never changed hands. If the constituencies are bigger then it follows that they could have even bigger majorities surely the same will happen again. We will still have way too many safe seats. Safe seats that allow career politicians allow the parachuting in of party leaders chosen few and were a contribution element to the expenses scandal.

If the number of MPs are to be introduced then surely its best to actually reduce the size of the government too in line with this change, Do we need so many junior ministers, should we have party whips? Can the senior civil servants be reduced, Do we need so many ministers in-fact we now have around 120 including whips while during world war two we only had 74 how did we win the war with only (almost) half as many!

I believe the Single Transferable Vote or STV would remove these safe seats and should be introduced as part of a reduction of MP's. Of course the Lib Dems have always believed in proportional representation, as it is a fairer system.

STV would also have other benefits of giving more representation to people of candidates they actually voted for, Less wasted votes, balanced list of candidates to win your vote, more competition and more choice, no need for tactical voting,

We should have a PR system anyway but there is an even bigger requirement for STV with less MP's.

An explanation of STV can be found here

Also see


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  1. Just assess where the cut in MPs is likely to fall - inner city seats where an MP's voice might be needed to counter deprivation and the remote thinly populated rural areas where it's hard for even the most active MP to cover and where there is equivalent deprivation. The cuts sounds good until you start thinking where it will hit. Prosperous Tory suburbs will gain so no surprise there.

  2. Yes I do suspect your right in the two bigger parties will do alot better under this system. It all meant of course to sound good.