I agree with Mark: The public did *not* reject proportional representation last year

by Stephen Tall on April 23, 2012

Mark Thompson makes an excellent point over at his blog here. He points out that those Conservative MPs who now oppose the Coalition Agreement commitment to elect the House of Lords using proportional representation because they claim last year’s referendum on changing the voting system ‘rejected PR’ are plain wrong:

There is not really a delicate way to put this. [Eleanor] Laing and [John] Redwood are lying. What the public rejected was the Alternative Vote. AV is not a proportional system. In fact it can be less proportional than First Past the Post.

But don’t take my word for it. The fact that AV is not proportional was one of the main planks of the No2AV campaign itself! Laing and Redwood along with virtually all Tory MPs were strong supporters of the the No side. You’d think they would at least remember what their campaign said. Here’s a little reminder taken from the official No2AV website:

    “There are strong principled arguments for and against PR, and it’s a debate worth having. The Alternative Vote, however, is a step backward rather than a step forward. AV combines the weaknesses of both systems; it isn’t proportional – three out of the last four elections would have been more disproportional under AV”

Here’s the link to the No2AV website page explaining how different the alternative vote is to proportional representation. And just in case the webpage goes missing during the forthcoming tussle over reforming the Lords, here’s a screen-grab: