Overdue: the First Past The Post Group inaugural meeting.

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stvposter.jpgAbout three months ago (I know, I know) I went along to a meeting here to discuss the First Past The Post system. The event was organised by the redoubtable Helen Eadie, and featured the unusual Westminster double-act of Brian Donohoe and Daniel Kawczynski. As it wasn't billed as a campaign event in favour of this most unrepresentative of systems, I thought it might be worth going along with one of Scotland's leading campaigners for voting reform.

The meeting was actually pretty interesting, for an anorak, and we found a degree more common ground than I expected. All there were agreed that having too many electoral systems risks confusion, although the first one I'd abolish is the one which keeps their undemocratic bums on the green benches. We further agreed that STV is a better system than closed party lists, and that if First Past The Post was ever abolished, STV would be a better replacement.

Mr Kawczynski was personally pretty impressive, and not just because he's about eight feet tall. He's wrong on hunting, and he's wrong on PR, oblivious to the price paid for all those disenfranchised Tory voters in 1997, but he seems sincere and prepared to take a different line to his own party, including on Royal Mail privatisation.

The most amusing part, though, was when Murdo Fraser, deputy Tory leader, put one of his young colleagues right on STV. Having sat through an anti-STV rant, Murdo agreed PR wasn't right for Westminster, but pointed out what a success it had been for local government. Cue broad smiles from our corner and torn faces everywhere else.

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This page was published on May 5, 2009 3:35 PM.

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