Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gould - again!

The Electoral Commission have today published a fairly detailed response to the earlier Gould report, which I've posted about extensively.

The Commission's News Release is here; their main report here, and the brief BBC coverage here.

The second of those links - the main report - is a pretty comprehensive response to the Gould recommendations. Given my earlier ramblings about all of this requiring the Scotland Act (1998) to be re-opened, I was particularly intrigued to read para. 17 of the report this morning:

"17. The Commission intends to undertake an examination of electoral administration structures across the UK, rather than considering Scotland in isolation, or considering some Scottish elections but not all as needing changed arrangements. It is our view that this matter is urgent, and must proceed immediately."

... now if that isn't a good enough excuse to end up saying what Gould wanted to, but didn't (that STV-PR for the Holyrood elections would solve a lot of problems!) I don't know what is?

Surely such a comprehensive review should conclude that a single system for all Scottish elections - whether decoupled or not - would be desirable and given the last decades' move away from majoritarian to proportional systems, then STV-PR has to be the universal answer??

We may find out pretty soon, as the said-report is apparently due in mid-2008!

On a less-important issue, but interesting for my nationalist colleagues, para. 32/33 is noteworthy:

"It is our recommendation that legislation is amended to require that registered names of political parties (rather than their descriptions) appear first on all regional ballot papers for the Scottish parliamentary elections."

... no more 'Alex Salmond for First Minister' - I'm gutted :-)

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