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Now the opportunity has arisen, stopping the Conservative's proposal to gerrymander the Commons has to be Labour's priority. Indeed it should be every person's priority if we'd like to keep living in a democracy, rather than a one party state.

Lords reform will be irrelevant if we allow the Tories to gerrymander their way into power. If they win a majority in the next election we will see further boundary changes - Britain will become a one party state.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Jul 16th, 2012 at 05:57:38 AM EST
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I do not think that the idea of having more equal constituency electorates can properly be described as a gerrymander. It is a step towards the democratic ideal of one person, one vote, one value.

An issue exists of whether it would be better to base constituencies on census population rather than registered electorate. Most countries seem to use population rather than registered electorate. Tweaking the system in that way would answer concern about under registration of qualified voters, particularly in large cities.

The changes in constituency distribution will reduce, although not eliminate, the pro-Labour bias which has existed in the electoral system in recent decades but it does not create an unfair pro-Conservate bias. Unfortunately it is not possible to eliminate the possibility of some systematic bias developing, without replacing single member constituencies and first past the post voting with multi member proportional vote elections.

by Gary J on Mon Jul 16th, 2012 at 07:19:15 AM EST
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There always several way to do this. The Tories will try to convert safe Labour constituencies into safe tory constituencies. A Labour majority would try to create swing constituencies instead.
by IM on Mon Jul 16th, 2012 at 07:25:51 AM EST
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Parliamentary boundaries in the UK are drawn up by politically neutral boundary commissions. The new rules constrain the commissions more than the old ones did, but also reduce the opportunities in the process for the parties to influence the final report.

The rules, both old and new, prevent the political consequences of proposed boundaries being taken into account. A party will obviously consider political consequences, in deciding what boundaries it would prefer, but its submissions to the boundary commission have to be expressed in terms of factors permitted by the rules such as community ties

by Gary J on Mon Jul 16th, 2012 at 08:02:49 AM EST
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Several changes to the rules for the boundary commissions are part of the bill. Every single one of them seems designed to give the government more say in the process. This very much looks like the beginning of an attempt to undermine the democratic process.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Jul 16th, 2012 at 09:23:54 AM EST
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Calling first-past-the-post a democracy is already stretching the word in my opinion.

I would call it "non-dictatorship" or something like that.

by cagatacos on Mon Jul 16th, 2012 at 07:56:54 AM EST
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