After the #IndyRef – equality for England

As part of the response to the 'no' vote in Scotland's independence referendum, various Tory MPs – from the Prime Minister downwards – have been talking about the answer to the West Lothian question* by having only people elected in England voting on matters that affect only England.

They want equality for England to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly. Good.

The Scottish Parliament is elected by PR (under the additional member system). The Welsh Assembly is elected by PR (the additional member system again). The Northern Ireland Assembly is elected by PR (STV this time).

All these ensure that the relevant decision-making bodies actually reflect the wishes of the whole of electorate they are representing much more than a Parliament elected by 'first past the post'.

If it's to be "English votes for English laws", the votes who elect those representatives have to be fair ones. It would also be good to see some devolution within England and it's notable that when that was proposed in 2004, it involved regional assemblies elected via the Additional Member System.**

As well as ignoring the question of which members of the House of Lords would be entitled to vote, the 'grand committee' of the House of Commons consisting of all the MPs elected to English constituencies that various Tory MPs are proposing out of naked self-interest simply isn't good enough.

* It's a sign of my age that I would have been amongst the first to write about that in an O-Level exam in the following June…

** One area rejected a flawed proposal and two others were cancelled because of that and irregularities in an all-postal ballot election.


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