Monday, September 06, 2010

Voting Reform

Today, the House of Commons will begin to debate proposals to give people a chance to reform the voting system, and to equalise our parliamentary constituencies.

Our two Parties have different views on the future of our voting system. But we both recognise that there are genuine concerns about the current system. And we emphatically agree that the decision is not, in any case, for government alone.

It should be taken by the people themselves.That is why both our parties support putting this question to a referendum next May, just one example of the power shift we are determined to deliver. Fixing parliament also means tackling the unfairness in the geography of MPs' constituencies by making sure votes count equally wherever they are cast. The coalition also proposes to cut the number of MPs to 600.

This won't just cut the cost of politics. A smaller, hard working House of Commons, is part of redistributing power away from the centre to local people. This is precisely the sort of modernisation our Parliament needs – and Labour MPs know it.

Yet tonight, Labour MPs will troop through division lobbies voting against a referendum on voting reform – a referendum they promised in their manifesto. Labour now seems to be about opposition, opposition, opposition. In the end, opposition for opposition's sake gets you nowhere.
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