Apparently Labour have spotted that electoral reform might save them at the polls. [link]
What they're talking about is probably to a certain degree what they have in France, but geared down to the local parliamentary level. This would probably work pretty well for me, because I vote tactically against the party with whom I most disagree. I say most disagree. I mean loath the principles of. But there we are. However, I don't think this goes anywhere near far enough.
Here's an idea (it's my idea, but I'd like to call it an idea)
There's 646 seats in the commons. That's pretty big.
Probably about 15 are in Northern Ireland, which is a pretty unique political environment. To be honest, I think it would be good to have a lower house in England which dealt only with English issues and had only English representatives (ie elected by the English population) and an upper house who ratified bills as legal, and dealt with national issues (I'm going to say Security, Foreign Policy... that's it).
But that won't happen, because of the electoral math that Labour uses. So let's keep the Scots and Welsh in too, but recarve the political districts. The problem with PR is that you
A - lose the local value from MPs
B - have coalition issues
But the problem with first past the post is that you have
A - local MPs lobbying for programmes which won't help the nation as a whole
B - have absentee MPs who are the party fat cats
So let's mix
636 Constituency MPs.... No use to me. Let's have 346 constituency MPs, still plenty so that a city like Leicester would have 1 MP instead of the current 3, with some spill over into the counties. Probably Charnwood would get rolled into Loughborough, for instance.
Let's also have 300 PR elected MPs. What you'll get there is probably all the front bench MPs in the PR list. Because let's face it, if you can't get 100 of these people (1/3 of the total vote) you aren't winning the election.
The party leader would be #1, your deputy leader #2 etc. This would also get rid of the farce of Lords being appointed to sit in Cabinet, or parachuting MPs into safe seats (which is just insulting, really).
Let's talk tax
All the money we pay in tax goes into the consolidated fund (let's exclude NI for the time being). This big current account type money gets cut up into all sorts of bits and bobs. But who knows where.
I think a hypothecated tax system would be a bit clearer, don't you?
I'll explain. Hypothecation would mean (this is just an example) that you'd pay tax like this:
You earn 22 grand. 6 grand of that is tax free. You'll pay
8% on the remaining 16 grand for the NHS
3% for national defense
1% for communities
2% for benefits/pensions deficits
1% for border control/immigration
1% for education
Then all the tax you pay on petrol goes to transport infrastructure
Let's get rid of VAT, because it is evil. Because you pay it regardless of your means. And I think that's immoral.
This way, of course, when governments came in and said "we're going to cut tax by 1%" you'd say: "which bits, chap? Because, if anything, I'd like to see my NHS contribution go up a bit so we could have shinier new hospitals. And do we really need those nuclear submarines? Because if we didn't have them, you could slap that money into hospitals too. Or maybe some schools. You know, for the little kids, who will then pay tax and then I can retire before my hands fall off with the rheumatiz"
Just a thought that the current system allows the politicians to lie to us, and I think certain parties are more likely to lie to us, because I just don't trust them to be honest.
Arch Enemy. Disturbing how hot she is.