by Stephen Tall on July 17, 2010
Actually, I’ve not trawled back that far – just five months, February this year, when the Lib Dems’ Chris Huhne launched a salvo on The Guardian’s Comment is Free against the Alternative Vote as a means of electoral reform:
[The Alternative Vote] is very similar to first-past-the-post in two key respects. Because it is based on single constituencies – a virtue for its proponents, who say they prize the constituency link – the parties continue to select one candidate each, and the voters only have one choice for each party. …
Conservative opposition to electoral reform gives the lie to David Cameron’s pretence that he wants real change, and Labour’s half-hearted commitment to the alternative vote is just a deathbed conversion from a party facing a historic defeat at the ballot box. Not only does AV fail to give voters the power they should have, but it also fails to remedy the unfairness of the present system.
Of course, as David Cameron noted on the day the Coalition Government was formed, “We’re all going to have things thrown back at us. We’re looking at the bigger picture. … And if it means swallowing some humble pie, and if it means eating some of your words, I cannot think of a more excellent diet.”
On this occasion, I imagine Chris agrees with Dave.