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>Andy, Andy, Andy!

>NewStatesman has just put up part 11 of the Labour leadership hustings that they hosted.

In this part, the candidates are asked whether they would support AV in the coming referendum, would they actively try and campaign for a Yes vote in the referendum and whether they would support a more proportional electoral system.

Andy stated that the recent election highlighted the flaws in the system. Personally, i think every election shows the flaws, i mean c’mon on a party that gets a minority of the vote gets a majority of the representation, that makes a joke out of democracy. Andy then goes on to say that they should stop and think whether it is in the best interest of the Labour party. Of course he would say that he’s trying to lead the party but it stinks of the same old politics that people are sick and tired of. We want the political parties to stop thinking in terms of party interest and start thinking in terms of the national interest. IMO, no party should ever have a majority unless the electorate want them to have a majority and in the majority of cases that isn’t the case.
I don’t want a government doing what is best for their party and their party alone, imo that is the quickest way to bring the country to a standstill. I want a party that can put aside party interests and do what is in the national interest and what is in the interest of democracy of this country and fighting for every single person in this country whether they voted for the party or not.

Diane made a good point about closed list systems that they put the power into party leaders hands to choose who goes into parliament and not the people who choose who they want to represent them. The thing is not all forms of PR are like this. STV allows a party to nominate several candidates for a seat so you can choose the candidate as well as the party. There is more power in the hands of the people in that system. She also made a case that keeps getting mentioned about PR in that she doesn’t want to destroy the MP-constituency link but for me i would have more of a link with my MP if i knew i had helped to get them elected and if they shared my views about which direction the country should be heading in. I, personally don’t like my MP, i would never vote for her regardless of party yet still i am stuck with her because 47% of my constituency vote for her. For me the MP-constituency link would be strengthened by having someone i actually voted for rather than becoming increasing disenfranchised with politics because my voice is never heard and will never be heard under the current system.

David made the same MP-constituency link argument, he also made the point of having 50% of people voting for a candidate/party/pm under AV as a good thing. IMO, this is not great. What David M is assuming is that the 47% of people who vote Labour in my constituency support every single policy and that the other 3% that she would presumably easily get would support most of them. This is an entirely wrong assumption. Most people do not support all the policies of one party and the other 3% like even less of the policies of the labour party. The only way imo opinion to best represent the opinions of the people and to create a strong MP-constituency link is to allow more people to represent an area. I’m more likely to go to someone that represents my views or who i voted for than someone i didn’t and i think the majority of the country would agree with me on that which means the current 1 MP per constituency is a very weak link.

Ed M made the point that there should be 50% of women in the shadow cabinet. I don’t disagree with this but i don’t think you should absolutely say there HAS to be 50% of women but it should be based on merit and not just whether they wear a skirt. There needs to be something to get more women into cabinet or shadow cabinet but i don’t think discrimination is the best way to go about it.

Ed B made the point of giving small extremist parties power but the only reason they are voting for those parties is because they are so disenfranchised from politics that they almost may as well. Their vote doesn’t count. They only vote for these extremist parties to try and get some change which the main parties seem allergic to.

I think all candidates failed massively on this topic but none more so than Andy Burnham who went back to old politics in saying he would put the party before the country but that is unacceptable in any leader not just of a party but as potential leader of the country that is certainly not on.

For my fuller thoughts on the labour leadership – click here.

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