Monday, May 03, 2010

Betty Boothroyd comes out in support of electoral reform

The Guardian's live general election blog quotes a Press Association story (which I can't find online) saying that the former Commons Speaker has described the current first-past-the-post system as unfair and said it "fosters disillusion and invites anarchy".

It goes on to quote Betty Boothroyd as saying:

The 21st century has no place for a system in which millions of voters are ignored because our elections are stacked against them ... After much thought, I believe the case for electoral reform has become unanswerable.

If the opinion polls are right, many millions of votes, perhaps more than ever before in living memory, may count for nothing on Thursday and the result will not reflect the nation's will.

The next government, whatever its composition, will have to make difficult decisions to overcome our economic difficulties and carry the country with it. A grossly unrepresentative parliament will make that task much harder.

It is not for me to say which system should replace first past the post. That is for parliament to decide. But too much is at stake for a return to business as usual at Westminster. The last parliament disgraced itself and betrayed the country's trust by its behaviour. The nation will not tolerate a repetition.

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