Following the (widely expected) inconclusive result on Thursday, the British Gazette puts forward its own proposal to try and cut the “Gordian Knot” (the legend of Phrygian Gordium – no pun intended) that is electoral reform at Westminster.
It is this:
That the proposals of the three major parties (Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats) on electoral reform be ALL put forward being contained in a Bill put before parliament with all party support in the form of three separate schedules to the bill. That is to say that the Conservative proposals – which essentially comprise the redrawing of constituency boundaries to ensure equal populations and the continuance of First Past the Post – be contained in Schedule 1. The Labour proposals which essentially are the adoption of the Alternative Vote – be contained in Schedule 2. and the Liberal Democrat proposals – which essentially comprise the adoption of the Single Transferable Vote – be contained in Schedule 3.
Once through the parliamentary process the monarch should enact the legislation with the particular schedule to be enacted to be decided by the British People in a referendum.
This act, the Electoral Reform Act, 2010 would have the great advantage of being easily amendable. Were the British people to vote for a system which ultimately proved chaotic, the Act could contain a provision to enable the government of the day to lay a Statutory Instrument before parliament to change the system by putting forward a referendum to the British People to decide again on what schedule to use.