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Nick Clegg: "The Shape of the New Politics"

Nick Clegg: "The Shape of the New Politics"

Categories: Latest News

Thursday April 21 2011

  Nick Clegg writes an article for the Daily Telegraph today ahead of his speech on “The Shape of the New Politics,” at IPPR this morning making the case for electoral reform.

He writes:

“I believe there is a direct link between our electoral system and the expenses scandal. Why? Not because a new system like AV will turn all politicians into angels – but because the old first- past- the- post system gives hundreds of MPs safe seats: jobs for life, no questions asked. And power without accountability always leads to trouble.

“Most MPs, from all parties, work very hard for their constituents. But because of first past the post, many of them don’t need to do much to get your vote in the first place. After all, if you know you’re going to win election after election, and all you need is a minority of support in your area, why should you bother to secure more support?

“In the current system, MPs can get elected on fewer than three out of ten votes. At a constituency level, this means that an MP who wants to ignore a chunk of his or her constituency can do so….First past the post is also unhealthy for politics at a national level. Parties and politicians target just the few swing voters needed to win. As a recent report form the independent institute for public policy research showed, the last election was decided by fewer than 460,000 voters, or 1.6 per cent of the electorate.”

You can read the transcript of the Deputy PM’s speech at IPPR here.

ENGAGE urges readers to vote YES to AV on May 5th and to vote in favour of a positive change to the way we do politics starting with a change in our electoral system from FPTP to AV.


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