Third Parties - and electoral reform

Chris Burford cburford at
Sun Aug 6 23:18:53 PDT 2000

At 09:27 06/08/00 -0500, you quoted:
>"I think we're getting more like the British system, where 15 to 20 percent
>of the votes, as a matter of course, are cast for other parties," Mr. Winger
>"We're seeing that happen all over the world," he said. "But America remains
>the anomaly. We have this huge, terrifically diverse country where most
>people are still just voting for two parties. But I think it's changing."

From the August editorial of Red Pepper (UK): -

Chris Burford


>Fair electoral reform: over Blair's dead body
> Keynote by Hilary Wainwright
> There was always a sneaking doubt that New Labour could be decent enough to
> create electoral space for would-be political competitors. Now it's
> official. If there is
> eventually a referendum on electoral reform the only alternative will,
> most likely, be
> the 'alternative vote'; a system that would only increase the power of
> the executive
> and rule out minority voices.
> Naively, I had taken it for granted that New Labour's much vaunted
> modernisation
> would include reforming an electoral system rooted in the pre-modern
> politics of Whig
> and Tory cliques; and where Blair wavered, the Lib-Dems would insist.
> But as is the
> way of all reforms that are not pressed for by a powerful and vigilant
> movement,
> secret wheeling and dealing has put pluralism on ice.
> On reflection, it is not surprising that an electoral system that would
> extend people's
> political choices - and in doing so face Labour with competitors on
> their left as well as
> the right, open up the framework of political debate, and strengthen
> dissenting
> voices within our culture - is the one constitutional reform that New
> Labour has not
> delivered.

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