Summer Lovin’

I wish I had thought of it first!

Friday’s Newsnight programme ran a wicked report on the 2 C’s coalition, with ‘Summer Lovin’ providing the background music, and finished with the two politicians ‘made over’ as Danny & Sandy on the Grease movie poster!

This was all linked to yesterday’s press announcements of a proposed Voting Reform Referendum to be held next May. This is what ‘Cleggy’ sold his soul and his party for. However he’s been short-changed. The referendum will offer the AV system as an alternative to first past the post. But this is not the proportional representation which the Lib Dems have long craved.   

True to form the Tories  also plan to lump the voting reform (which they are opposed to) together with proposals to equalise parliamentary constituencies, which they think will benefit them. They have a track record on this type of manoeuvre, of course, having redrawn the constituency boundaries, in their favour, during the Thatcher years.

With the voting reform referendum likely to be scheduled alongside English council , Welsh assembly & Scottish parliament elections, it seems the Tories have also sought to play down its significance. The May 2011 date, ten months hence, also ties the Lib Dems even more closely into the current coalition.

I had to laugh, having listened to  ‘Ozzy’ Osborne pontificating about the magnanimous coalition government allowing voters to choose rather than telling them what to do!  A restricted choice is being offered and  the Lib Dems have been forced to compromise even on this cornerstone of the coalition pact.  

I believe electoral reform is long overdue. However if voting reform is being seriously considered then surely we should be given a full range of options.

Any how, if the Alternative Voting system is to be chosen by the electorate, I’m not sure what good it will do the Lib Dems. By the time the next election comes around they will have been hooked up with the Tories for so long that they will have totally lost their separate political identity.

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