ANNE McELVOY hits the nail on the head when she says "local government might well be improved by PR because it would end the one-party fiefdoms which have delivered us bad services" (Section 2, 3 May). Why then does she not see a need for PR to prevent single-party domination at a national level? It is quite wrong to suggest that devolution offers the sort of check on untrammelled power that might otherwise come from a reformed voting system.
If, as seems likely, Labour ends up in control of both the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament (even if they have to rely on the Liberals in the latter), it is difficult to see what checks and balances would exist. Is there any reason to believe that Labour members of these bodies would be any less regimented by Messrs Mandelson and Campbell than their Westminster counterparts?
The many tiers of government are irrelevant if they are all dominated by one party. Such domination is deeply unhealthy and will, in time, lead to that party becoming complacent and corrupt, just as the Tories did after 18 years of believing themselves unbeatable. And no one should be in any doubt that even Tony Blair's Labour Party could sink to that sort of level; just look at the one-party fiefdoms in local government that Anne McElvoy condemns - they're all Labour controlled.
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