Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Go on, admit it: It would be very, very funny if First Past The Post F**ked over the Tories.

Posted by Jason O on Apr 10, 2010 in British Politics |

Bizarrely, going against their own stated values, the Tories really don’t like proportional representation. I have never understood their logic. After all, they have railed against the state being too powerful, and if there is one thing PR does, it restricts the ability of a government to ride roughshod over the majority. They talk, in forboding tones, about the dangers of weak government. Yet throughout their history, the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany have both had constitutionally weak governments where the executive has been limited by no majority in parliament, and it has worked fine. Germany is richer than Britain, and the US overtook the UK despite its “weak” government. After Thatcher and Blair, Britain could do with a bit of weak government.  

It seems possible (I still think unlikely) that, because FPTP could let the Tories pile up huge majorities in their safe seats whilst Labour’s vote is more widely spread, that the Tories could get more votes, yet Labour would end up with more seats. It would be unfair, but very hard to feel sympathy for a party that has lauded FPTP for so long.  

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