Monday, 6 September 2010

Patience - Updated

The Parliamentary Voting Reform and Constituencies Bill will receive its second reading today with the Coalition leaders talking tough while others return it in kind.

The difficulty with this scenario is that it ceases to be about the bill and what it is seeking to achieve rather the political fight around it.  The core weakness of the bill is that it is trying to do too much in too short a space of time when if a degree of patience where shown in it and its associated measures the goals within it could probably be achieved. 

It would be better if the bill was held back until after the House of Lord proposals are developed and that the reform of constituencies have a target date of 2020 rather than 2015.  This will enable a rounded decision on the new structures of government and voting systems.  The roll-out of a new registration could be completed in advance of the re-drafting of the boundaries with the likely problems tackled (if Northern Ireland's experience is anything to go the likely result is less not more on the register as intended with much follow-up required).

UPDATE:  Ian James Parlsey provides a more in-depth analysis of the issues around the Coalition's Constitutional Reform programme.

No comments: