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

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Are you looking for a...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £100,000: SThree: If you would like to work fo...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission £100k +: SThree: Trainee Recru...

Senior Automation Tester – Permanent – West Sussex – Circa £40k

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice  

The scariest thing about Halloween is seeing all the douchebags who think racial masquerade is okay

Michael Mark Cohen
Apple CEO Timothy Cook  

Tim Cook coming out as gay publicly for the first time matters to young men like me

Leigh Dowd
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes