Friday, April 14, 2006

Those nasty terrorists and billionaires

Terrorism, glorification and Peter Hain

OK, it came into force. As Garry observes, that means it's now illegal to say nice things about, for example, this guy. In addition, Peter Hain will now have problems writing his memoirs (if/when he finally leaves office), as he's also guilty of acts now defined as terrorist under laws he voted for.

NuLab changing the electoral rules in Wales - they got it wrong last time, they don't win

Of course, Hain's an arse anyway, his current wheeze is an attack on the idea of Regional top-up AMs in Wales. Well, yes Peter, we know they're a crap idea. We told you that at the time. We said use a system that kept a constituency link, but oh no, NuLab had to adopt a system that (supposedly) gave it the advantage. Create a system, then decide it's not working, so blame those that were forced to work within it instead of the system itself. Useless terrorist fool. Peter Black has more; he doesn't like how he was elected, but you do what's needed, right?

Italy, Berlusconi, cheating and stability

On the subject of Governments changing electoral systems in an attempt to give their own party an advantage, isn't Italy watching fun? At least, it would be, if the media were actually covering the story properly. The best coverage I've found hasn't been the BBC, nor any boradsheets, but blogs. The media is simply regurgitating cliches, and lying (or, to be charitable, simply not understanding) the way Italians vote. There's an excellent description, including regional breakdown, here. Silvio tried to rig the system, owns most of the broadcast media, controlled a lot of the rest via the Govt, and still they voted him out (just).

Who would chose a list PR system?

The Italian electoral system, now I've read about it, is even more crazy than the Israeli system. It says something when two countries have system that are actually as bad, if not worse, than ours. Or, are they?

I'd have said yes, but look at those turnout numbers in Italy. Everyone voted, everyone took it seriously, it mattered. More parties than I can count, but everyone gets to vote for what they care about. You most certainly can't say that all Italian politicians are the same. It's still a daft system, but it does show how the "western malaise" supposedly affectig democracy doesn't, necessarily, apply. Friend of mine was at a big trade fair show in Bologna over the weekend. Major stall holders were shutting up and leaving early, from their biggest annual event, in order to get home and vote.

Would us Brits bother doing that? The Italian electoral system (especially the new one that Berlusconi created) is unstable, and no one is seriously suggesting it for the UK. Instead, we want a reformed constituency system. I've gone on about it before, plenty of times, but Peter Blacks post above gives another good series of reasons why list systems are wrong.

The new Liberal Review, and NLE is moving soon

Life is busy, I'm busy, and light blogging mode is on. New project in the works, we'll be moving soon, details to follow when I've got everything sorted out. In the meantime, on the subject of revamped blogs, take a good look at the new Liberal Review. I've been asked to write a bit onconstitutional refor (sorry Rob, swamped), in the meantime, it's taken onboard the Apollo Project team, and taking guest columns, including a pretty good one from Tim.

G'night all.

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