Simon Carr: Three million voters made their preferences plain – they abstained

Sektch: The Liberals are on the slow road to destruction – why take a shortcut?

Share
Related Topics

Are you Preferential or Alternative? If you've got a degree in voting systems you're probably Single Transferable (that's the system that will increase the parliamentary representation of giraffes).

This is never going to take off – not unless rebel MPs get their amendment requiring anyone supporting AV to have to inhale helium before making the case.

Without the Milibands in the chamber the discussion never really caught fire, but the professional vote chasers stayed to thrash out the longest statement in recent memory. It concerned them, you see. It was like expenses.

What happened? Nick Clegg pitched his honeymoon-fresh ideas to the Commons promising power surging away from the government to Parliament and thence to the people. Are you ready, people of Britain? You probably won't notice it happening. In the end you'll vote and still get some characterless, tripe-coloured, middle-aged establishment lackey.

More positively, it transpired that Nick and Dave are going to innovate with the referendum protocols, settling the question by cage fighting – winner takes all. That'll "engage the electorate", especially the 3.5 million unregistered voters out there. And consider how well tearing off each others' ears would work in with the fairness and respect agenda. No, damn, it was all a dream, a beautiful dream.

Animal noises from below kept waking the Gallery up. In order to make sure they'd have a five-year turn with the limousines and outriders, the coalition had rigged the numbers. They had insisted on 55 per cent majority on a vote of confidence. But because they "listen" (in this case to the yelping constitutionalisers) they've gone back to a simple 50-per-cent-plus-one vote to carry no confidence. You'd think the Opposition would be pleased at this. They didn't look pleased. They're not there to be pleased.

Was it something to do with the need for a 66 per cent vote to dissolve Parliament? Now the coalition won't be able to call a snap election – lacking as it does a Blair-type majority.

But the Liberals won't want to do any of that. They're on the slow road to destruction – why take a shortcut? Let's not argue about it, just take my bet for £200,000 – I'll give you 5-1.

Labour was complaining about "outrageous gerrymandering" (the proposal to make all constituencies roughly the same size). Their own outrageous gerrymandering (getting all those seats on 28 per cent of the vote) was forgotten.

They were described by one Tory as "a party having their rotten boroughs removed". Another, Bernard Jenkin, criticised holding the voting referendum on local election day as it would "artificially inflate the turnout". He says what others daren't think.

Many of the yelpiest Labour contributions concerned the 3.5 million people who weren't registered to vote. It "wasn't fair" they said. But the most likely explanation is that those 3.5 million want nothing to do with the whole system. It's nothing to do with "fairness". It's to do with "boredom" and "repulsion" and "wanting to be left alone".

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Mary Christmas: the Bethlehem story is Mary's moment, when a poor peasant girl gives birth to the Son of God in a stable  

The appeal of the Virgin Mary: A supernatural hope at a time of scepticism

Peter Stanford
 

Letters: Why Cameron is wrong about EU child benefits

Independent Voices
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'