An unlikely political marriage has seen Green MP Caroline Lucas and Tory MP Douglas Carswell team up to push for proportional representation to become a choice for voters at next May’s electoral reform referendum.
As it stands the only choice for voters other than the current first past the post system would be the Alternative Vote. Lucas and Carswell argue that proportional representation must be an option for voters too.
Speaking at a Conservative Party Conference fringe meeting Carswell MP for Clacton said “Those of us who believe in far reaching political reform should vote no to AV”.
Lucas and Carswell believe that the alternative vote would isolate voters.According to Carswell in an interview yesterday AV would “insulate many politicians from their voters”.
The rationale behind the argument is that candidates confident of securing second and third preference votes would sideline and ignore the views other voters.
Therefore they argue the move would risk wasting some votes. Carswell and Lucas are together making the case that a better alternative is needed to the current first past the post system, and that voters must have a choice.
An amendment drawn up by the pair for which they will try and garner support says that voters should be asked if they are happy with the current system, and presented with four alternative voting systems to choose from including AV and proportional representation.
By Richard Sudan