So says Nick Clegg in an interview for Radio 4′s Westminster Hour.
His underlying point is a good one – the coalition isn’t a single-issue coalition which is about AV and nothing else. And, as James Graham points out, the Electoral Reform Society isn’t a sort of glorified form of the Liberal Democrats either.
However, Nick Clegg does make the point at some length in the interview – “The Liberal Democrats aren’t a sort of glorified form of the Electoral Reform Society”, “I wouldn’t have stood for the leadership of the Lib Dems if I thought the only sole purpose in life was to change the electoral system”, “I think there are other things which this coalition is seeking to achieve” and so on.
Each of those comments in itself is unexceptional. Added together, they leave me hoping that when the full interview is broadcast it also has rather more about the positive benefits of electoral reform. After all, not only is that one of the main reasons many activists have for being committed Liberal Democrats but also the coalition agreement includes a guarantee, regardless of the AV referendum, of proportional representation for an elected Upper House.