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Bernard Jenkin launches another salvo against changing the electoral system as he claims the "new politics was somewhat oversold"

By Jonathan Isaby

JENKIN-BERNARD Bernard Jenkin has already been leading the campaign to stop the AV referendum being held on the same day as elections to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly.

In tonight's Evening Standard he has launched another salvo against changing the voting system:

"The proposed referendum will offer a system that is hardly used anywhere and that nobody here really wants.

"The Conservatives stood on a platform of keeping the present system. The Labour leadership really wanted something called “AV-plus”. Until the election, the Lib-Dems wanted a system called “single transferable vote”. As recently as April this year, Nick Clegg described the alternative vote system as “a miserable little compromise” and in January, as “worthless and doesn't go nearly far enough”. The only reason it is on the UK agenda now is because of the quirks of coalition government.

"It should come as absolutely no surprise that the coalition negotiations were infused with more than a touch of bluff and counter-bluff and involved spur-of-the-moment policy deals even on fundamental constitutional change. The so-called “new politics” was somewhat oversold. Disraeli coined the phrase “England does not love coalitions” in the 19th century for similar reasons.

"As the novelty of the new Government inevitably fades, and MPs face the grim reality of voting for policies that they thought they were elected to oppose, things will not get easier for them — or for the Government."

Read his whole piece here.


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