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David Cameron countenanced PR for Welsh local elections

The Conservative leader was reportedly willing to agree to proportional representation as part of a draft coalition agreement that Welsh Conservatives were seeking to thrash out in the aftermath of the last Cardiff Assembly elections.  The Guardian's Andrew Sparrow quotes Vernon Bogdanor's record of what went on:

"There had been serious negotiations between the three non-Labour parties – Plaid Cymru, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats – with a view to forming a "rainbow" coalition. But these negotiations foundered, in part because the Conservatives would not countenance the introduction of proportional representation for local government elections. The Welsh Conservatives were, apparently, prepared to consider this proposal, and David Cameron, the Conservative leader at Westminster, was prepared to allow them to do so, but the shadow cabinet would not hear of it."

Carswell Douglas Central Lobby Earlier in the week Douglas Carswell MP blogged arguments in favour of an Irish-style PR:

"“Party list” PR would mean that instead of 7 out of 10 MPs having safe seats, it’d be 9 out of 10. Politics would become one giant “A list”. Yet, if we were to have multi-member seats, as in Ireland, combined with open primaries, law makers who didn’t listen to local people would be one term candidates. We’d have citizen law-makers championing the local interest in Westminster - and fewer professional politicians defending Westminster to their constituents. Multi-member seats would retain the constituency link – and produce clear working majorities, not endless coalitions. It’d ensure more choice when deciding who gets to be your next MP. And more competition, not just when opening fetes and holding advice surgeries, but when vying to champion local opinion."

Still worth reading is William Norton's 'Only losers like PR'.

Tim Montgomerie


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