Lib Dems to vote to keep gerrymander

The Telegraph reports:

The Liberal Democrats’ decision to oppose boundary changes is a major blow to David Cameron as this would have boosted his chances of re-election.

The Liberal Democrats have historically supported boundary changes. Mr Clegg has previously said it was important to fix the “broken scales of our democracy” by making the size of constituencies more equal.

However, the deputy Prime Minister said he took a “mature” decision to block a policy favoured by the Conservatives to make sure the Coalition is a fair and equal partnership.

That’s an appalling decision. Boundary reform should be supported because it is the right thing to do, not because the Conservatives want it and blocking it punishes them. How can the Lib Dems say they support a fairer electoral system, yet vote to maintain an electoral gerrymander?

At the moment, constituencies vary widely in size which gives Labour an electoral advantage.

Equalising the size of boundaries could have meant that the Conservatives would win between six and 20 more seats at the next election.

NZ has it right, where by law all boundaries must be of the same size within a 5% tolerance. It is wrong that those who live in one electorate have their vote count for more than in another. The average pop per electorate in the UK is:

  • England 72,522
  • Northern Ireland 67,387
  • Scotland 66,807
  • Wales 57,464

English voters are seriously disenfranchised – and worse they are the only ones totally governed by Westminster. MPs from Scotland and Wales vote on laws that affect England only.

On an individual electorate level the Isle of Wight electorate has 110,900 electors and Na h-Eileanan has just 21,985. So their votes are five times more powerful than the Ise of Wight – absolutely undemocratic – yet supported by Labour and now the Lib Dems as it keeps the left in power.

Even within England there are regional differences. The North East has an MP per 68,511 people and the South West has an MP per 75,644.

By party the average Conservative MP represents 73,010 voters and the average Labour MP 69,441. Lib Dems 70,021 – so no surprise they oppose principled reform.

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