Archive for the 'Electoral Reform' Category


The winners under First Past The Post should rigidly adhere to election spending laws

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016


The chart above is self-explanatory and illustrates clearly how well the electoral system treated the Tories at the last election and how hard it was on the smaller parties particularly UKIP.

General elections are won in the marginal constituencies where clearly the parties focus their resources both financial and people.

But the law lays down very strict spending limits on how much can be spent by each party within each seat. Parties shouldn’t be able to buy victory simply because they’ve got most money.

After the election each candidate and his/her agent have to sign a declaration of expenses. A false declaration is a criminal offence.

So free resources that don’t cost money such as enthusiastic volunteers for clearical tasks, delivering and canvassing are at a premium. If you start paying for items like this during the official campaign period then it can eat into the maximum that’s allowed.

Earlier in the year Channel 4’s Michael Crick ran a series of reports suggesting that the Tories in some of their key targets and defences might have gone over the limit. This is now being investigated by the Electoral Commission and we await its report.

In these days hidden campaigning such as use of social media and the phone plays a huge part and tracking expenditure can be harder but it is right that limits should be adhered to.

Mike Smithson


The plan for a progressive alliance might have an itsy bitsy teenie weenie flaw with it

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

With Leave polling 52% and the Tories & UKIP regularly polling around 50% plus in the polls a progressive alliance might be doomed.

In recent weeks we’ve seen much talk of a progressive alliance to stop the Tories/Brexit/Right wing populism, and with the result of the Richmond Park by election that talk has ceased to be an abstract concept, but will it work at a general election?

Looking at the above tweet, the Electoral Reform Society analysed what the 2015 general election result would have been under different voting systems the Tories must regret opposing AV back in 2011, AV is much like the most recent James Bond film SPECTRE, there are two types of people, those who already acknowledge its brilliance and superiority above all others, and those who will eventually acknowledge its brilliance and superiority above all others.

I suspect coming up with policies more popular with the public will be a more successful route to power than changing the voting system or coming up with electoral pacts.