Voices

Too many let electoral tactics influence their decision in the polling booth

Commons backs referendum on election reform

A referendum on changing the way MPs are elected will be held by October next year under Government plans passed by the Commons tonight.

PM faces Labour revolt over vote reform

Gordon Brown is braced for a Labour rebellion today against moves to scrap the first-past-the-post voting system.

Leading article: Two cheers for a little bit more democracy

If electoral reform is back on the agenda, that is a positive development

Leading article: Safe seats blight our democracy

Writing in this newspaper today, the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, accuses the Conservatives of planning to fight a US-style election in which money is the deciding factor. We are seeing, he says, "an attempt to buy the next general election". What he stopped short of saying was that if the Conservatives were indeed plotting to win by outspending Labour, the outlays would be most efficiently concentrated in the relatively few marginal constituencies.

Ministers force debate on voting reform

Move designed to expose Tories as defenders of first-past-the-post

Caroline Spelman: You Ask The Questions

The MP for Meriden and shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary answers your questions, such as 'Aren't you just a one-man band?' and 'Would you do deals with the Lib Dems?'

Stephen Glover: This injunction shows a real lack of respect for the freedom of the press

Super-injunctions are much more oppressive than a traditional court order

Labour conference diary

* Gordon Brown received one of the week's biggest cheers for pledging a referendum on reforming the electoral system. But many of the party faithful are spitting feathers over his belated enthusiasm for the alternative voting system.

Nick Clegg: 'You can't promise the same menu of goodies. It's just not plausible'

The Lib Dem leader tells Andrew Grice why even his party's most cherished policies may have to be sacrificed

Steve Richards: This farce of constitutional change

Opportunities for reform only appear at a parliament's start, not at its end

Peers line up to block House of Lords reforms

Only 9 per cent would support plan for fully elected second chamber

New peers face time limit in House of Lords

All new peers should be appointed to the House of Lords for a fixed term limited to three parliaments - up to 15 years - as the next step towards a democratically elected second chamber, a report recommended.

Expenses scandal boosts support for PR

More people support proportional representation (PR) than the present first-past-the-post system in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal, according to a new survey.

Alan Johnson: Labour must embrace voting reform

First-past-the-post is a miserably disempowering electoral system

Caroline Lucas: Why Labour and the Greens could benefit from co-operation

Some people say coalitions are undemocratic, and depend on backroom deals and unprincipled trade-offs. I say that the opposite is true. Coalitions can often be more honest and more transparent, than a party that tries to be all things to all people, and where the backroom deals include the kind of bribery, bullying and smears that characterise the current regime.

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