Three hung Parliament portents: two good for the Lib Dems

Hopeful policy portent number one: Labour’s policy mastermind Jon Cruddas “now”* backs electoral reform.

I used to be in favour of first-past-the-post, but my experience as an MP has changed my views into very much more support of a more proportional system because the whole system is geared to the preferences and prejudices of a swing group of marginal voters in marginal seats.

It sort of corrupts the character of our representative democracy so it becomes less representative and less democratic. [Politics Home]

Hopeful policy portent number two (and don’t wince too much at the source of it): Peter Mandelson likes the Liberal Democrat property tax plans.

What we need is what I think the Liberal Democrats are proposing and that is the introduction of further bands that relate to different values of property within the council tax system. That’s what I would like to see. [BBC]

And the less good portent? Labour seems still not to have learnt from the hopelessly inept preparations it made for negotiating in a hung Parliament in 2010 which amounted to little more than a quick cup of tea between Mandelson and Ed Balls.

* I use the quotes because back in 2009 he was making warm noises on the topic too. But prominent Labour support for electoral reform is still a good portent and rather different from Ed Miliband’s chronic indecision and fear of angering parts of his own party during the AV referendum which led to repeated u-turns and vacillations behind the scenes over what he was willing to do for the Yes campaign.

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