bookmark_borderProportional representation coming soon?

Originally uploaded by phoosh

So some Labour grandees are now proposing to introduce proportional representation (AV+ to be precise – not my preferred variant, by the way, but it wouldn’t be too bad).

But the Tories are against. In David Cameron’s words: “Proportional representation takes power away from the man and woman in the street and hands it to the political elites. Instead of voters choosing their government on the basis of the manifestos put before them in an election, party managers would choose a government on the basis of secret backroom deals. How is that going to deliver the transparency and trust we need?

I think he’s very much mistaken.

He seems to imply that first-past-the-post gives power to the “man and woman in the street”, but how many constituencies in the UK are actually competitive? Very few, if we except the landslide elections (that only see seats changing in one direction).

On the other hand, in a proportional system, even fairly small voter movements will be translated into seat changes, thereby empowering the man and woman in the street.

Yes, in a proportional system there is a much greater possibility of coalition government, but that is not necessarily a bad thing handled mostly in “secret backroom deals”.

If parties are open about what’s absolute demands and what’s merely optional extras in their manifestos, and if they declare before the election under what circumstances they would enter into a coalition, the whole process can be transparent and open.

I think many people here think Italy or Israel when proportional representation is mentioned, but many other countries (such as Germany and the Scandinavian countries) combine proportional representation with stable government and small parties without unreasonable influence.

It’s just a question of copying the right system.


Comparing mobiles and ringtones
Originally uploaded by juicyrai

Der var en historie i Politiken i dag om, hvor uretfærdigt, det er, at man nu i Storbritannien kan få mobilabonnementer, hvor man ikke betaler ekstra for at bruge mobilen i udlandet.

De har dog blot glemt en lille detalje i historien:

I Storbritannien koster det typisk 10p at sende en SMS, og 20p for at tale i ét minut. Det er hhv. 85 øre og 1,70 kr.

Så vidt jeg kan vurdere, er de typiske priser i Danmark nu nede på 20 øre pr. SMS og 1 kr. for et minut.

Det er altså en stor forskel!

I praksis betyder det nemlig, at den nye maksimumspris for at sende en SMS i et andet EU-land på 82 øre er fire gange højere, end hvad danskere er vant til, men faktisk en lille smule lavere end den normale pris i Storbritannien.

Det gør det jo en smule nemmere for britiske mobilselskaber at indføre samme priser i både ind- og udland.