Thursday, May 21, 2009
Safe seat MPs claim more: PR NOW!
Important bit of work on this link showing that the safer the seat, the more likely the MP is to be involved in the expenses scandal.
It suggests in no uncertain terms that an MP who knows that s/he is in no danger of losing the seat in the next election feels able to claim more freely.
This should be read in conjunction with my own work on the relationship of turnout to majority, which shows that the safer the seat, the lower the turnout.
The case for Proportional Representation is overwhelming from the point of view of real democracy. Problem is that a House of Commons composed of MPs who won under the archaic First Past the Post system is not going to vote for a system which means that many of them are going to have to fight for their seat.
Therefore this change must come from popular pressure.
As I write Caroline Lucas is on Today making exactly this argument. Just as she began the plumber came to fix the cistern that leaked on the bathroom floor yesterday, shorting the lights and removing the hall ceiling paper, so I missed the interview. But it will be up soon on Listen Again. (scroll down to 8.40)