Sunday, 28 July 2013

Report calls for change in EU voting system to benefit Tories

A report by the London School of Economics and the Electoral Reform Society says that the Tories' best hope of beating UKIP in the EU elections next year is to change the voting system so that the electorate votes for people rather than parties.

Although people generally vote for parties rather than the person in local and Westminster elections, the vote is actually for the person.  In EU elections you vote for a party and the candidates are chosen by the party.

The Electoral Reform Society want to change the EU election voting system so that the electorate votes for a person rather than a party.  They argue that it's more democratic choosing the person you want rather than the having to vote for someone you don't want to be able to vote for someone you do.

They have a point and it probably would go in the Tories' favour because it means that plastic eurosceptics like Dan Hannan will be able to attract votes based on (for want of a better word) their own merit without being put at risk by the pro-EU stance of their party.

Voting for a person instead of a party would leave Cameron with a bit of a dilemma though.  It would be necessary for MEPs to promote themselves more as personalities like MPs do which will bring more attention to the number of europhile MEPs the Tories have.  Cameron is absolutely adamant that he doesn't want us to leave the EU but most voters don't share that opinion.  There will always be people who vote for the Tories just because they're Tories but those Tories that behave like eurosceptics will rise to the top and that will bring with it unwanted pressure to take a more eurosceptic stance.

This report will bring a glimmer of hope for ordinary Tories but a big dilemma for Cameron who will have to choose between changing the voting system to give the Tories more chance of beating UKIP or keeping the pro-EU bias in his party.
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