Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Referendum on the Alternative Vote system now on track

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After all the argument in Parliament – particularly in the House of Lords, which used unprecedented late night sittings to try and derail the bill – the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act was finally passed into law in mid-February. The Act allows for a referendum on changing to an ‘alternative vote’ system for general elections to be held on 5 May 2011 and the redrawing of constituency boundaries to reduce the size of the House of Commons from 650 seats to 600.

It cannot be said that, to date, there has been much public debate on the issue. Both the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ camps have launched their campaigns, and there has been some comment in the serious press on the arguments for and against.

What do you think? Will AV make the elected Parliament more representative of public opinion? Or will it simply dilute the individual’s voting power?

Have a look at the Electoral Reform Society site: they are strongly in favour, but this article discusses the issues clearly. Do you agree with them? See

It may well be that the reduction of seats in the House of Commons will ultimately have a bigger impact on its party political make-up than AV – even if AV gets the nod in the May referendum.


Written by lwtmp

March 14, 2011 at 10:07 am

Posted in Chapter 2, Chapter 3

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