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May 27, 2009

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Ol

DG: Radio 5 Live phone in today, Clegg thinks MPs who have been proved to have done something crinimal should be handed to the police.

Paul: The first item Clegg wants addressed is for all parties to accept whatever Kelly's report suggests about expenses reform - yes, ahead of time. The rest of his suggestions are about electoral reform, which do not depend in any way, upon the Kelly report. In that respect, the 100 days are achievable. But now we're on day 99, and still no response from the Government. Not that I'm surprised! :(

Paul Flynn

Ol, I would love seem Brown's and Clegg's reforms put in place in 100 days. But it's not going to happen. Christopher Kelly's report will not be ready until the Autumn.

DG

"Clegg's article was laying down the gauntlet."

I'll have more respect for Nick Clegg when he starts shouting for prosecutions where appropriate. 'Til then, he's just Peter to Cameron's Nathan (Petrelli, that is).

Ol

Just to defend the Lib Dems here a moment, too. We've been talking about constitutional reform for all the years we've been Lib Dems, and some decades while we were Liberals.

Our suggested reforms have been... pretty much all of the reforms now being suggested by the other two parties.

Also, I think it is important to remember that the Lib Dems have been at the forefront of the battle for Freedom of Information. Every single Lib Dem MP voted against the plans to exempt MPs from the Freedom of Information Act. Every single Lib Dem MP voted for plans to reform the expenses - last year!

Maybe taken out of context, Clegg's remarks could be seen as silly. But what did he actually say? He said that his proposals for fair, democratic reform (http://www.takebackpower.org/) can all be instituted in 100 days.

It was a challenge Paul, to the incredibly sluggish way the Government is moving on this issue. We all know what needs to be done. Clegg's article was laying down the gauntlet.

I hope you'll be supporting the Lib Dems' desire to bring about a fair democracy, finally! :)

Paul Flynn

Yes I have always supported PR.
It's a mystery how the Tories in Wales can be opposed. They had 20% of the national votes in the the 1997 and 2001 general elections in Wales but did not get a single MP out of the 40 that represent Wales. If FPTP was in force in the Welsh Assembly, Labour would be a dominant position -almsot permanently.

In the first election in 1999 the Tories would have had only one seat out of 60.

The make-up of the Assembly now fairly reflects opinion in Wales.

DG

I don't think the BNP vote is going to grow very much. UKIP maybe, but people seem to be seeing through Nick Griffin's "Mr Nice Guy" facade, partly thanks to the YouTube footage of him.

Kay Tie

"he probably hopes to make the Liberal Democrats the main party of opposition after the next election. Which is unlikely given FPTP system."

Hmmn, depends. FPTP has a tipping point where the results flip over dramatically. Labour could do so badly that it tips over and Labour end up with a few dozen seats and the Liberal Democrats hundreds.

Obviously there are quite a few constituencies where a pig with a red rosette would be elected (some might argue this has already happened). A split in the Labour vote to the BNP might well tip the balance (which explains the largest part of the squealing anguish about the BNP).

Chris Carter

It's interesting Clegg is at the centre of parliamentary reforms, it seems to be just a political stunt being made by Clegg on reforming parliament, calling for the speaker to go and now attempting to "Bar the gates of westminster."

It is understandable however, given Labour are at 25% in the polls, with the Liberals at 27%, he probably hopes to make the Liberal Democrats the main party of opposition after the next election. Which is unlikely given FPTP system.

I am inclined to ask though Paul, do you support Proportional Representation (or some similar form) or do you believe we should maintain the current system of voting?

Chris

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