Unelected Lords filibuster voting reform

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Members of the House of Lords are still awake (at least as awake as they ever are,) and still debating the Parliamentary Voting and Constituencies Bill, which includes both the Lib Dem demand for a change to the voting system, and the Conservative demands for an equalising of constituency sizes and less MPs. While Labour say they do not oppose holding a referendum on AV, and Leader Ed Miliband will even campaign for the ‘Yes’ camp, they say the reduction of MPs is nothing more than gerrymandering for Tory advantage. They are sort of right. The change in boundaries  and MPs will benefit the Conservatives, but only because it is undoing the unfair advantage that the current system offers Labour.

The crux of the matter seems to be Labour are completely split down the middle on backing AV, even after the mistakes of the No campaign. The Bill needs to pass by the middle of next month in order for the referendum to be held on the proposed date of May 5th. Labour don’t like this date either. People will be voting in local elections that day, so they are worried their will be a good turnout in the referendum, which may help the ‘Yes ‘vote, and give a win to the Liberal Democrats.

So there Labour Lordships have all the power. They can prevent something that is causing for problems for their party, and stop some legislation that was a key reason for the Liberal Democrats supporting their political enemy at the same time. Meanwhile, the British public are subject to the irony of a more democratic system being prevented from going to a referendum…by unelected peers.

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