Democracy advocates want a clear electoral reform vote timetable

By agency reporter
July 3, 2010

The campaign group Unlock Democracy has asked for a clear timetable from the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, regarding the date of a referendum on changing the electoral system.

The pressure group's deputy director, Alexandra Runswick, declared: "Whatever date Nick Clegg chooses, his announcement next week will effectively fire the starting gun of the referendum campaign. The 'yes' campaign is ready and raring to go, riding on the wave of public opinion."

She continued: "We are confident we can win this referendum and Unlock Democracy will be putting out all the stops to ensure that we do. We are aware that the establishment figures calling for people to back the same old politics will probably be able to outspend us, but we are already seeing the emergence of a non-party, grassroots movement which is determined to make the case for a system that puts the voter more in control.

"It is crucial that Nick Clegg doesn't just announce the date of the referendum next week but gives us a clear timetable for the necessary legislation's passage through Parliament. We will be pushing for him to ensure it receives at least its second reading in the House of Commons before the summer recess," said Ms Runswick.

Those who favour a proportional voting system are prepared to give the Alternative Vote proposal assent as a move in the right direction, though it is far from the Single Transferable Vote which most want.

Yesterday, when asked if the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister would be campaigning on the frontline, Downing Street said that David Cameron had set out his position in the past on this and that he would be campaigning against AV. The Deputy Prime Minister was free to campaign for AV.

The Labour Party remains divided on the issue, but fair democracy advocates fear many Labour MPs may end up voting against AV out of spite against the Liberal Democrats, following their coalition with the Tories.


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