The ‘brute arithmetical realities of first-past-the-post’ could lead to a Tory/Brexit Party victory
After issuing this warning today, Richard House believes that nothing should concentrate the minds of the progressive left more urgently than ‘the prospect of five years of Johnson/Farage-driven scorched-earth neoliberalism’.
He points out that Labour should try to forge a pact with anti-Tory forces. If this proves too difficult to negotiate, the only other possibility for defeating a united right is for Labour to commit to introducing a fair voting system in its manifesto.
The Blair government’s tragic decision to enter the war against Iraq, was – according to Michael Prowse (FT: 23/24.8.03) – “precisely what one would expect of a system that does little or nothing to encourage rational debate or a public-spirited search for consensus. The outcome of this amoral and confrontational approach to politics is partisan, manipulative and accident-prone government”.
In May 2016, shadow chancellor John McDonnell urged Labour to back PR, which, Richard House believes, would give minority-party supporters an overwhelming incentive to vote Labour in seats where only Labour can beat the Tory/Brexit Party candidate.
Nancy Platts sees the movement for such change growing within the Labour Party
She reminds us that it will be seen and heard on August 31st, at a Manchester conference: This Is What Democracy Looks Like .
Recommending a report on the benefits of the case for fair votes, she says that it sets out the experience of councils in Scotland, as well as governments across Europe, showing that proportional voting systems – where every vote counts – help to foster ‘consensual’ politics, where unions and civil society are included as key players.
‘Partisan, manipulative and accident-prone government’, or ‘a revitalised democracy’
The Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has long campaigned for democratic reform in the UK – for ‘changing our outmoded electoral system to one that is truly representative’.
Like Richard House, she advocates exploring ‘possibilities for electoral alliances and pacts where we can agree on a progressive programme and commitment to proportional representation . . . ‘, ending prophetically:
“These are dark days but by showing each other compassion and by standing together in support of a revitalised democracy we can find a way to build a stronger and more peaceful country”.