To put it simply, the voting system is rotten. A rise of 1% in the Liberal Democrat vote has led to a net loss of seats. The combination of Liberal Democrat voting at about 23%, the rearguard of Labour and the distrust still of the Conservatives plus a stronger core vote, has led to the stalemate that we have. Clegg is lucky to have 57 members left, and might not in the future.
Cameron has made a feeble offer. So thanks, but no thanks. It is not enough to spread the blame, deliver nothing but an investigation into PR, and then leave the Lib Dems to take the electoral consequences of this perverse system.
Clegg should then go to Brown and say what. Brown is more pro-electoral reform. He should say nearly no. He should indicate a different Prime Minister, and get Mandelson into the arranging, for someone who would be 'new' and he should be seeking to attract in others interested in PR: the new Green MP, Plaid Cymru's three, the sister party in Northern Ireland the Alliance MP, and possibly the SNP with Plaid Cymru - all those who are broad left and would get an increase in representation under a PR system. Then, along with stability for the economy, pass new legislation to change to PR.
The Conservatives have none of their Unionists in the House of Commons. The only one who was there has gone. So an approach to the DUP is a lot more fraught and won't overcome the other side's numbers. If they manage this properly, next time we will be voting and getting what we vote for, not a throw of the dice and wondering what happens.
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