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Thursday, May 5th, 2005

Time Event
10:57a
Just to record: yes, I have voted (as has rotwang). Not that it'll help a whole lot in our not-very-marginal, but at least we might have a chance of returning to the 1992 party ordering (Con, LibDem, Labour) as opposed to the Con, Labour, LibDem of the last two elections.
1:47p
Una pregunta para los que hablan español
Does anyone know of a Spanish-language bookshop who ship to the UK and don't charge both arms, both legs and my nonexistent first-born child to do so? I find it a little unreasonable that a book which is priced at somewhere around £6 can then cost somewhere around £13 to ship (it costs _way_ less than that to get stuff sent from the US, but everywhere in Spain seems to want to send stuff by courier to the UK)
5:42p
I was thinking earlier on (run away! run away!) about one of the objections to PR that is often raised, which is that it removes the link between "local" candidates and the areas in which they stand. (Sometimes an MP with whom one doesn't necessarily agree on party lines can be useful nonetheless for getting local issues sorted.)

Why not do something along the following lines?

  • Reduce the number of constituencies so that each new constituency is about X times as large as one of the old ones (I'm thinking along the lines of X being about three or so at the moment);
  • Each voter retains their single vote, but each constituency has up to X candidates available (listed in an order of preference);
  • Each voter votes for a party as at present;
  • Seats are allocated by the proportion of votes received in the new super-constituency.

This way you still get about the same number of MPs (significantly more or fewer would probably cause issues either way) and people still have someone _relatively_ local representing them, but you get more of a spread of parties. Possibly you might need to make X more than three to give better granularity, but there aren't so many seats where the incumbent got more than 66% of the vote, I don't think.

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