CLPD model resolution on First Past The Post Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:22


This …. notes that the widespread public disapproval of many MPs’ misbehaviour has been followed by calls for unspecified “change” in the electoral system for the House of Commons.

Such calls serve to distract attention from both the bad behaviour of the individuals concerned and also the unacceptable accounting practices under which they have been operating. These serious problems need to be addressed. They should not, however, be misleadingly attributed to our current electoral system.

Proponents of “change” remain significantly reluctant to clarify or agree which alternative system they favour. The truth is that all the main alternatives to First-Past-The-Post have serious democratic defects.

Pure Proportional Representation, for example, would almost certainly lead to a series of coalition governments, greatly enhancing the chance that the balance of power in Britain, as in Israel, would be controlled by minority and/or racist parties.

The Alternative Vote system, on the other hand, would not necessarily increase proportionality at all. It would, however, regularly and unfairly allow the positive first preferences of many voters to be overturned by the second and lower preferences of other voters, whether liberal or racist.

Finally, the Alternative Vote Plus system recommended by Lord Roy Jenkins would divide MPs into 2 separate classes: a reduced number of constituency MPs representing larger areas with new boundaries, and a substantial number of “list” MPs with no constituency at all and very dubious accountability.

What these systems have in common is that they would increase the prospects of coalition governments, for which nobody had voted, formed on the basis of unpredictable post-election haggling without any reference to the electorate.

The prospects of winning the majority Labour Governments which the country needs for the future would be seriously reduced, if not abolished, by the introduction of any of the above systems.

This…. therefore resolves not to be diverted from dealing with one set of political problems by pursuing the irrelevant “solution” of electoral reform for the House of Commons.

We therefore reaffirm our Party’s policy in favour of the First-Past-The Post voting system for House of Commons elections.

(It is suggested that this motion is sent to Gordon Brown, Jack Straw and to regional NPF representatives)