There are times when you wonder about the sanity of the British Prime Minster.
He went into coalition with a Liberal Party which wanted Proportional Representation and indeed made it a condition of their support in that coalition.
To their eternal discredit the Liberals folded their tents once the sniff of Cabinet seats and ministerial office, for so long denied to them, was within reach, and they accepted a proposal put forward by Tories. That proposal was that a referendum be held with only two choices:
One would be the majoritarian and deeply flawed First past the Post (FPTP), which can give “strong” government (or put another way, the kind that can bulldoze its way through any opposition); the other, the majoritarian, but very slightly less flawed Alternative Vote (AV) which would at least ensure that every MP had the vote of at least 50% of the public, albeit not as first choice.
Now this AV system was proposed, let me repeat, by the Conservative Party, as the only alternative to FPTP that they would consider, when they, too, smelled the possibility of power after 13 years in the wilderness and needed Liberal help to get it. Perhaps because they use it themselves to elect a leader. Indeed had they used FPTP, Mr Cameron would not have been leader, and therefore not prime minister.
I’m not going to go into the lies that have been told about AV, there’s a brilliant post at Scot Goes Pop, which does that better than I would, but I’m somewhat concerned about the sanity of a man who says in may 2010 that this is a system that he would propose as the only alternative to FPTP that his government could accept, and then says in today’s Telegraph, that it would be a disaster for Britain.
What kind of prime minister proposes a disaster for his country? What kind of man agrees that the people can decide between what we have had since Adam was a lad, and a disaster... and all so that he can get his feet under the desk at No. 10?
Is he wicked, unhinged, or just so contemptuous of us that he thinks that we’ll have forgotten that it was his idea?