Vote Tactically and Change an Unfair Electoral System; A Hung Parliament Would Not Be a Nightmare but an Exciting Chance to Transform Britain, Writes Owain Llyr AP Gareth of the Electoral Reform Society
Byline: Owain Llyr
THE Conservative Party is going all out against a hung parliament, reinforcing the idea that they would like to invite you to be part of the government of Britain - as long as you're a Tory.
They have provided a platform for the fictitious Hung Parliament Party, complete with red rosettes, manifesto and billboards. Recession be damned, let's throw money down the rabbit hole to create the strange alternate world of a Mad Tea Party. Nothing here is as it seems... So we can't be fully paid-up members of the Hung Parliament Party but I would urge voters to look at the Vote for a Change campaign suggesting who you can vote for to get a hung parliament.
Of course, the influence you wield depends on where you live - that's one of the problems with the current system. You can find out what you can do in your constituency at www.voteforachange.co.uk. Hold your nose and vote tactically this once, and you won't ever have to vote tactically again.
Why join this campaign? Because electoral reform is now firmly on the agenda and the electorate's wishlist. The Lib Dem surge has proved to one and all how unfair the electoral system is.
The idea that a party can be the largest party in Parliament having ended third in the poll is seen as untenable to a nation that prides itself on supporting the underdog.
The idea that Labour could conceivably gain 260 seats on 28% of the vote, the Conservatives 260 on 33%, and the Liberal Democrats only 100 on 32% lays the unfairness and distortions of first-past-the-post bare for all to see. All over the country, voters have realised that the emperor - or perhaps the "Mother of Parliaments" - has no clothes.
Ahung parliament is the option that gives us the chance of changing the old, corrupt and decaying edifice that is our parliament. It says volumes that its symbol is a portcullis.
We need to open up this fortress to the people it purports to represent.
Electoral reform would give us fair and balanced representation between the parties - which, as the result above indicates, is in the interest of fair play.
The voting system preferred by the Electoral Reform Society is the single transferable vote. This is also the official policy of the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens as well as the choice of many Labour Party members.
This reform is now a very real possibility. The name may be indigestible, but this system emphasises voter power and choice by allowing you to rank politicians 1, 2, 3 and so on in constituencies that elect three-to-five members. However, the mechanics of the voting system is less important than what it does.
It would get rid of safe seats, making sure that our local MPs really work for us, as it is possible for party loyalists to choose another candidate from the same party whom they think better in the same constituency.
In the PR system used in Ireland, one third of candidates who lose their seats lose them to candidates of the same party. …