Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I do think that we need to reform the electoral system. Why? Put simply, there's not enough choice and competition. We saw the results in the last Parliament.And the deal was struck entirely by career politicians.
Moreover, the current system is horrifically biased against the Conservatives (look at the latest election results).
Top of my list to make politicians accountable are recall and open primaries. I also think that we need a more equitable distribution of seats. There are other reforms that we could make, too.
There is an appetite for a new politics that is more niche, distinctive, particular and local. Yet AV (alternative votes) makes politics the precise opposite.
It turns politics into a game of second preferences. Politicians can discard voters’ immediate concerns, and rely on picking up their second preferences.
Far from allowing an increasingly consumerist electorate a wider spectrum of choice, AV mitigates against niche and distinctive voter choice. It will leave us with a politics that is even more bland and generic.
Career politicians will love it ....
The dreadful concession that the Conservatives made was made by Cameron here in his initial speech offering to negotiate so it barely counts as a concession but something he was happy to do. He said
The Liberal Democrats in their manifesto have made the achievement of a low-carbon economy an absolute priority and we support this aim. I’m sure we can agree a common plan to achieve it.As a result among the ministers is
Chris Huhne - Energy & Climate Change
The LDs are absolutely & unequivocally opposed to permitting any new nuclear plants to be built. Indeed they even decided it would be wrong to extend the life of Hunterston past 2011 to keep the lights on. Supporting nuclear was one of the 3 things officially described as "illiberal & incompatible with party membership" when expelling me (the others being cutting business tax as a free market means of achieving growth & allowing builders to build houses).
Each household already pays an average of £1243 annually for electricity when it can be supplied, via nuclear, for £300. Ofgen has said it will rise to £2,000. With the LDs in control of energy it must rise even further, if anything they have ever said means anything. We already have 25,000 people dying, unnecessarily every year from fuel poverty, murdered by eco-fascist politicians - this cannot fail to rise. Beyond that 70% of electricity is non-domestic so that price rise will feed through to everything else we buy sell or produce making our economy even more uncompetitive than current prices already make it. Moreover windmills simply cannot provide any part of baseload, as admitted by their lobby organisation Scottish Renewables so we are going to have massive blackouts.
By selling out to the LDs on eco-fascism the Conservatives have made it impossible for our economy ever to permanently get out of recession.
LibDem energy policy on a windless night
And finally in the unlikely event that the Conservatives do intend to do anything at all here is Machiavelli's advice on making cuts (though he was being more literal.
Hence it is to be remarked that, in seizing a state, the usurper ought to examine closely into all those injuries which it is necessary for him to inflict, and to do them all at one stroke so as not to have to repeat them daily; and thus by not unsettling men he will be able to reassure them, and win them to himself by benefits. He who does otherwise, either from timidity or evil advice, is always compelled to keep the knife in his hand; neither can he rely on his subjects, nor can they attach themselves to him, owing to their continued and repeated wrongs. For injuries ought to be done all at one time, so that, being tasted less, they offend less; benefits ought to be given little by little, so that the flavour of them may last longer.Or to put it another way - you have a probably 100 day honeymoon - get all the cuts in place by the end of that, even when it includes announcing that there will be a civil service hiring & pay freeze & benefits freeze until the budget is in balance - something which will take years.