Hughes: Tories who oppose voting reform are Neanderthals
Sunday 19 September 2010
Fresh tensions at the top of the coalition erupted last night last night as a senior Liberal Democrat branded their Conservative coalition partners "Neanderthals" who had not "arrived in the 21st century".
In an exclusive interview with The Independent on Sunday, Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes served notice that his party would pull no punches in campaigning for a positive outcome in next year's referendum on the Alternative Vote system.
"I think it is an entirely winnable campaign but only if we are really clear that people defending first past the post are Neanderthal," he said. "Now, they may be our colleagues in government, but it's an indefensible, unfair, illogical minority activity to defend first-past-the-post. We have got to go in really hard ... If you can't support the idea that preferential voting and getting a majority of support in your area is progress, then really you haven't arrived in the 21st century."
David Cameron has repeatedly argued in favour of retaining first-past-the-post, claiming it enables voters to "kick out" a Government. When Labour proposed a move to AV, he branded it a "fix". Under AV, voters rank candidates in order of preference, and later preference votes of losers are redistributed until the winner has the support of more than 50 per cent.
The Tory MP George Eustice, who is co-ordinating the No to AV campaign, said: "Our one-person, one-vote system ... gives us clear and strong government. The only countries that have an AV system along the same lines being proposed are Fiji and Papua New Guinea. It is clearly ridiculous to say that going to AV is a step forward."
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company leads the market i...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager for Cyber Secur...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst (App...
£35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engine...