Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Open Primaries: An Alternative Answer?

Looking at the Tory talking heads on the news this morning, it appears that, in an attempt to head off electoral reform at the pass, their response to the public wanting a way to chuck out their MP at the ballot box is.... open primaries, USA-style.

Well, it'd be a start. The difference between that and multi-member STV, of course, is that is retains the idea of a party safe seat, but it does indeed allow the public to chuck out one particular person. It's not, actually, as bad an idea as AV+, which I think would just give electoral reform in general a bad name. But it's not great. If this gained a bit of momentum, though, and turned into a wholesale debate, along party lines (Labour: AV+, Tory: Open Primaries, LibDems: Multi Member STV), then obviously we'd be in the right, but if it came down to it, we should probably support the Tories over Labour (assuming the policies I posit above, of course).

2 comments:

Mark Reckons said...

Interesting. I used to be an STV purist and it is still the system I favour most but I like your thinking about at least the fact that the other parties are having to debate this means that our ideas will get more of an airing and perhaps not being too dogmatic. That way lies no change at all.

Frankly, we need a change to a more proportional system and we need to work within the realms of what is possible. I think we should be open to discussions with anyone who acknowledges that the current system is broken.

Andrew Hickey said...

Agreed - and it's not often you'll see me agreeing we should work with the Tories...