Lib Dem conference reps needed: voting system for the European Parliament

Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform¬†want to submit the following motion to the party’s autumn Federal Conference.

If you are a voting conference rep and would like to help make sure the motion gets enough signatures, please email the LDER Chair Crispin Allard (crispin.allard@atkinsglobal.com) with your name, local party and membership number. Thanks.

Motion text: 2014 Elections to the European Parliament

Conference notes:

  • that all EU member states are required to use a proportional system for elections to the European Parliament
  • that British elections to the European Parliament have been held using closed party lists since 1999
  • that the Liberal Democrats believe that the Single Transferable Vote system is the best way to choose MEPs
  • that Northern Ireland already chooses its MEPs using STV
  • that Conservatives and Liberal Democrats united in opposition to closed lists during the passage of the two European Parliamentary Elections Bills in 1997 and 1998
  • that the Labour Party had to deploy its large Commons majority to force closed party lists into the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999, using the provisions of the Parliament Acts to agree the Bill without support from the House of Lords

Conference believes:

  • that closed lists place disproportionate power to determine who enters the European Parliament in the hands of political parties
  • that neither party in the present Coalition Government supports the status quo
  • that power to determine which candidates are successful in European Parliament¬† elections should be handed back to the voter
  • that if there is no parliamentary majority for the adoption of STV as the system for British elections to the European Parliament, the coalition Government should at least introduce open lists, enabling voters to choose between candidates as well as between parties

Conference therefore calls on the Coalition Government to legislate for the 2014 British elections to the European Parliament to be conducted, in the absence of any agreement on STV, using an open list system.

Conference reaffirms the policy of the Liberal Democrats to retain STV for Northern Ireland elections to the European Parliament and to introduce STV for British elections to the European Parliament as soon as a parliamentary majority can be achieved.