David Cameron set out the Conservative response yesterday. It was sensible and proportional.
Some types of PR take MPs further away from the voters than others. The closed list PR system we use for European Election is a case in point. Even the Single Transferable Vote means having multiple MPs for the same area and brings about the anomaly that the successful candidates are elected using the second preferences of the votes for third, or lower, preference candidates.
Second, PR puts power in the hands of minority parties. In the coalition-making process the mainstream parties can be held to ransom by single-issue sects or fringe interests. Under PR we would vote at the election but the politicians would go on to decide who was actually in the governing coalition.
This moves us neatly to another benefit of the current system: one of the joys of our first-past-the-post system is that we – as voters – can sling parties out of power. PR could put voters at the mercy of a party that would merely change its coalition partners rather than leave office.
The British people have the right to tell a party when its time in government is over.
“Gordon, it’s over.”