Careful planning for electoral reform

This site hopes that everyone has learnt the  lesson of 2011. When the Lib-Dems, led at the time by Nick Clegg, agreed to a no-hope AV referendum, the movement for electoral reform was in effect throwing an ill-considered, wild swing. It was a clumsy haymaker the other side could see coming and duck with absolute ease. What’s more, AV isn’t even a proper proportional voting system. There’s no kinder way of putting this – it was a pathetic, misguided episode.

Surely the movement is not going to go there again.

In order to take a serious approach to achieving electoral reform, we’re setting out here what we think are four absolutely indispensable planning stages:

  1. co-ordinating across all activist partners to ensure qualified representatives finally decide on the optimum PR system for UK general elections, in a way that carries the widespread, evidenced confidence of supporters of reform.

  2. via forums and other means of input, setting the standard for PR and promoting wide understanding of the key features a new electoral process will have to embody to ensure delivery of the fair and transparent system voters are entitled to.

  3. developing a set of evidence-based, modern, relevant arguments to spearhead and explain: (a) the case for reform in general and (b) the rationale for the chosen PR system (let’s face it, the old arguments haven’t gained a working foothold).

  4. anticipating the counterarguments and blocking/diversionary tactics those valiant defenders of the status quo will use when they aim to sweep reform into the sidelines: take this seriously – they aim to be ruthlessly effective at blocking the way.

Sometimes it doesn’t harm to state the obvious: imagine how easily doubt and confusion will be sewn in an electoral reform movement that lacks clarity, unity & co-ordination.

So these are the broader strategies for success encapsulated in these four planning stages. We say they need to be in place at the outset, in advance of more detailed planning. Do you agree? Are there other equally essential broad strategies we haven’t included?

5.5.5 & Counting believes the path to electoral reform will be a difficult one and it is not possible, however nice it would be, to get there in a single, over-optimistic step.

 

 

 

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