In Ñspel: The Guardian view on proportional representation: Labour should back it

‘Voters will probably need to vote tactically to ensure that Keir Starmer’s Labour party stands a chance of winning power.’ Photograph: House of Commons/PA
‘Votrz wl probbli nīd t vot tacticli t enśur ɖt Cir Starmr’z Lebr parti standz a ćans v winñ pǎr.’ Foṭgraf: Hǎs v Comnz/PA

Ɖ Gardịn vy on pṛporśnl repriznteśn: Lebr śd bac it

(Transcription of a Guardian editorial of 9 Dec. 2022)

Hǎs v Lordz rform z a nesṣri, bt nt a sfiśnt consttyśnl ćenj t mnd Britn’z brocn poḷtics

Frîde 9 Dsmbr 2022

Munde marcs ɖ ʈrd aṇvrsri v ɖ jenṛl ilex́n ɖt dlivrd ɖ larjist Cnsrṿtiv parḷmntri mjoṛti sins Marġrit Ʈaćr’z. Lebr, mnẃl, dropt t its wrst rzult sins ɖ 1930z. Guvnmnts r ʈroun ǎt ẃn votrz wont a freś start. Ẃt wz unyźl in 2019 wz ɖt votrz gev ɖ Toriz ɖ tasc v rvrsñ Tori poḷsiz. Ɖt phps xplenz ẃ Riśi Sūnac hedz a guvnmnt ɖt rzmblz an opziśn in ofis, pitñ itslf agnst ax́nz v its prīdisesrz.

Ɖs paṛdox hîlîts hǎ clos ɖ tū-parti p’liticl sistm z t brecñpônt. Ppl hu votd Cnsrṿtiv at ɖ last ilex́n nǒ ɖe hv bn hd. Instd v gtñ a guvnmnt ɖt wl fix ɖ icoṇmi n ɖ NHS, ɖz votrz hv faund ɖmslvz wɖ ministrz hu r recñ ɖm. Ɖs hz léd t a wîdspred fīlñ v siṇsizm. Poulñ fr ɖ Cumṗs ʈnctanc śoz ɖt īvn f Lebr rplesz ɖ Cnsrṿtivz at ɖ nxt ilex́n, ɖ mjoṛti v votrz ʈnc ɖ p’liticl sistm z inceṗbl v mītñ ɖ big ćaḷnjz v ǎr tîm – sć az clîṃt, wlʈ iniqoḷti n hǎzñ.

Ɖs dsper hz its rūts in ɖ ilectṛl sistm. T si ẃ, cnsidr ɖ vxt iśu v iṃgreśn. Opińnpoulz śo ɖt haf v ɖ adult popyleśn nǎ se ɖt imigṛnts inrić ssayti. Bt bcz most v ɖ pro-iṃgreśn vots r pîld p in 25% v parḷmntri cnstitẏnsiz, n ɖ antīiṃgreśn vot z spred īvnli ovr ɖ uɖr 75%, poḷtics acts az a drag ancr on progres.

Ẃt nīdz t ćenj z ɖ dstortñ frst-past-ɖ-post votñsistm. In Britn, sīts wún at a jenṛl ilex́n r nt śerd ǎt pṛporśṇli btwn ɖ partiz. Bt nɖr v ɖ mn p’liticl partiz bacs a fẹrr mec̣nizm ɖt maćz sīts t vots. Bʈ beṇfit bî disinfranćîzñ ppl hu bac smōl partiz. Dfndrz v ɖ cuṛnt sistm se ɖt it gvz votrz tū brōd partiz t ćūz btwn, n dlivrz dyṛbl, stroñ guvnmnts rɖr ɖn śeci multiparti wnz. Yt Mr Sūnac z Britn’z fifʈ Cnsrṿtiv prîm̦inistr in six yirz.

Ɖ Libṛl Deṃcrats, n ɖer Libṛl fōrberz, hv cnsistntli fevrd ɖ adopśn v pṛporśnl repriznteśn; ɖ Cnsrṿtivz hv cnsistntli opozd eni rform; n ɖ Lebr parti hz bn cnsistntli dvîdd on ɖ iśu. Lebr z nǎ proṃsñ Hǎs v Lordz rform. Ɖs z a nesṣri bt nt a sfiśnt consttyśnl ćenj t mnd Britn’z brocn poḷtics. Sr Éd Dêvi, ɖ Libṛl Deṃcrat līdr, wz rît t se in a spīć last munʈ ɖt ɖ cuṛnt ilectṛl sistm “fylz ɖ disiluźnmnt ɖt fīdz xtrimizm. Pṛporśnl repriznteśn cn hlp tacl it … [Lebr’z] Lordz rform wɖt Comnz rform z lîc ćenjñ ɖ tairz ẃn ɖ car’z on fîr.”

Lebr siz ilectṛl rform az at bst a dstrax́n. Yt ɖ cuṛnt sistm z stact agnst it. Sr Cir Starmr stl nīdz t rten evri sīt hiz parti holdz tde, n gt a bigr swñ ɖn îɖr 1945 or 1997, t gen an unpresdntd 120 sīts fr a wn-sīt mjoṛti at ɖ nxt ilex́n. Sr Cir’z pouļīd z śrincñ. Votrz wl probbli nīd t vot tacticli t enśur ɖt Lebr standz a ćans v winñ pǎr n ɖt pṛgresiv partiz, sć az ɖ Lib Démz n ɖ Grīnz, d’nt gt sqizd ǎt.

Britn hz nvr bn asośietd wɖ jst wn we v votñ. Pṛporśnl repriznteśn hz pṛdyst mor sośl-deṃcratic poḷtics in Wêlz n Scotḷnd. It cd olso b a paʈwe fr xtrimist poḷtics – az hz hapnd in Yṛp. Bt a difṛnt YC ilectṛl sistm wd injndr cooṗreśn btwn partiz n a mor pluṛlistic p’liticl culćr, az wel az endñ ɖ daṃjñ Wsminstr obseśn ovr marjinl votrz. Fr ɖ cuntri’z sec, it’s tîm t ćenj a votñsistm bilt fr ɖ beṇfit v ɖ tū mn partiz.

Instroduction to Ñspel

"House by the Railroad," Edward Hopper, 1925

12/12/2022

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