Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Try again Daniel

Let me start by saying that I quite like Daniel Kawczysnki MP.  He's one of the few honest MPs and a genuinely hard working one at that.

But on the subject of voting reform he's got it quite wrong.  He clings on to FPTP - and understandably so as a sitting MP for a marginal constituency - despite its obvious failing in ignoring the wishes of most of the electorate and returning a government that has the support of little more than a quarter of the voting population.

But Daniel doesn't limit himself to being wrong on the principal of electoral reform, he's also wrong on why so many people don't bother voting in EU elections:
My hon. Friend mentioned the elections to the European Parliament. If we are going to change any voting system, surely it should be those elections, in which only 30% of the electorate turn up to vote, because they are very unhappy with how we vote for MEPs. Conversely, in our elections the turnout is 70%. Most people are happy with the way they elect us, but not with how they elect their representatives to the European Parliament.
As the Boiling Frog points out, EU parliament elections in the UK were held under FPTP until 1999 and the dismal turnout for EU elections has been comparably dismal since the first one in 1979.