After the Manifestos

18 days to go to identify and to support Labour candidates who support electoral reform in those key Labour-Conservative and Conservative-Labour marginals in England and Wales. 

First and most important if you or someone you know who will be 18 years old on 8 June is not registered or registered where they can vote on 8 June you have until tomorrow, Monday 22 May, at midnight, to register on  https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote 

Postal votes are going out NOW.  So some people have already voted. 

If you might be giving birth, or ill, or on holiday, you can book your postal vote but have to send it to your local Electoral Services before 5 pm on Tuesday this week, 23 May.  You might have to hand deliver it or definitely use a first class stamp, download here:  

Or think about a proxy vote as soon as possible but the cut off for your local electoral services to receive them is 5pm on Wednesday 31 May 2017.   This is when you get a friend or relative to vote for you – there is a special form on your local council website where you can find the electoral services address. 

Last week the Manifestos

The Manifestos show the clear Blue water between Labour and Conservative Parties on democracy.  FPTP is for top down non pluralists.  PR works to improve the political culture, debate about issues beyond a binary yes or no, and represents the real opinions of voters without the need to vote tactically.  We cannot afford five more years of the sort of stability and strength which ignores anyone, most of us, who has different ideas.  Minorities have rights but the largest minority has no right to inflict its programme on the majority who disagree with them. 

We need to encourage more political literacy and this means questioning our politicians.  Votes @ 16 are a first step to enfranchising young people before they leave home.  We need people, this election, to vote for a Labour government.  Ironically under first past the post this doesn't mean voting Labour in every seat.  Labour benefits whoever beats the Tories.  The quid pro quo is that all progressives, non Tories, who cannot bear the idea of another five years of unchallengeable May should vote Labour on the back of the Tory Manifesto in vital Labour-Tory and Tory-Labour marginals. 

The Sunday Times front page has the polling after the Tory wobble following their Manifesto launch as Conservatives 44 per cent, Labour 35 per cent.  Those who support electoral reform know that the votes you get do not necessarily translate into seats.  There is an argument that a Labour victory is one where we get more percentage vote than in 2015 and lose seats.  Keir Starmer a PR top up system supporter in the Guardian says.

 And Saturday’s i in an article entitled “Why 35 is the magic number for Labour”, shows the graph of Labour upturn in percentage votes.  A return to two party politics with no recovery for Labour in Scotland or LibDems in areas Labour cannot win still means a Tory victory.  So if you are a supporter of electoral reform and think this move will change politics for good we need to support efforts to get a non Tory government. 

So let’s reappraise the Progressive Alliance.  We haven't as a campaign signed up because their first emphasis was to withdraw candidates.  Labour cannot do that but they often do little to support/finance the candidates they judge cannot win.  It doesn't do other non Tory parties any harm for Labour to stand candidates as their vote is squeezed, and they allow some soft Tories to vote for the other candidate because they are still anti Labour in a sense.  This model is the one PA uses and cites Richmond Park. 

Voters need information and this is what the Green Party and PA are giving them and which they have in a byelection. PA has identified seats where the General Election can be lost or won.  LCER will support Labour candidates everywhere but particular those who have come out for electoral reform in vital swing constituencies, see those in the list put together by PA  here.

See Clive Lewis speaking at the PA meeting last Monday here. 

We are signing up all Labour candidates who support PR as PR stars on our twitter account @Labour4PR. 

The Conservatives not only commit the whole of the electorate to first past the post for electing MPs, they are gung-ho enough to want to introduce it for Police and Crime Commissioners and for the London Assembly.  No mention of course about changing the voting system for the Scottish Parliament or the National assembly for Wales where arguably their PR system has allowed the Tories to be represented where they had been virtually wiped out.  See interesting articles and a website for tracking the polls:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/electoral-reform-proportional-representation-pr-system-london-assembly-electoral-reform-bill-a7492531.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/conservative-manifesto-pledge-demanding-voters-have-photo-id-could-stop-millions-from-voting_uk_591dbdc9e4b094cdba51f63b?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

 

and check out this website.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-39856354

John Doolan