Miliband makes case for AV at launch of Labour YES campaign

Tonight, Labour leader Ed Miliband made the case for electoral reform in a key note address at the launch of the Labour Yes campaign, reports Shamik Das.

Tonight, Labour leader Ed Miliband made the case for electoral reform in a keynote speech at the launch of the Labour Yes campaign, in which he stressed how the alternative vote will help “build a fairer and better politics”, was “a fairer system”, spoke about the kind of party Labour must be and was consistent with Labour history – urging people to vote Yes on May 5th.

He said:

“In 1918, nearly a hundred years ago, Labour’s leader, William Adamson, led Labour MPs into the division lobbies in support of the Alternative vote.

Eighty years ago, another former leader of our party, the Labour Home Secretary, J R Clynes, launched a bill to introduce the Alternative vote.

“Clynes told MPs that:

“…our system has been good, but good must give way to better…”

“Sadly, when the national government was formed, the chance for reform was lost.”

The Leader of the Opposition then explained the three key reasons for political reform, namely that “our politics needs repairing”, “the alternative vote is a better, fairer system than the one we have”, and it will “improve the way politics is conducted”.

The case for reform, he said, was simple:

“Politicians should never be insulated from those they represent. Opening up the electoral battleground will be a significant step in making more votes count. So on May 5th ask yourselves one simple question: Are you happy with the condition of British politics? If the answer is no, then seize this chance for change.

“The Alternative vote will make votes fairer for one simple reason: It will make more votes count. And when more votes count, politicians have to count on more voters. And at the same time alternative vote keeps the constituency link people really value – the ability to contact, even to berate, their local MP.

“So the reform case for AV is simple. If you want more voices to be heard – and if you want more votes to count – then you should vote yes on May 5th.”

After rebutting some of the myths the No2AV camp have perpetuated, he concluded:

“Our long journey to a better politics didn’t stop with secret ballots. It didn’t stop with universal suffrage. It didn’t stop with devolution. On May Fifth, we can take another step on this journey to a fairer politics.

“So I urge people to say: Yes to change. Yes to a challenge to the status quo. Yes to a system where more voices are heard and more votes are counted. Yes to AV.”

• Tomorrow, Left Foot Forward will have more from the launch of Labour Yes, including interviews and reaction.

21 Responses to “Miliband makes case for AV at launch of Labour YES campaign”

  1. andyvglnt

    RT @leftfootfwd: . @Ed_Miliband makes case for AV at launch of #LabourYES campaign: reports @ShamikDas #Yes2AV

  2. irene rukerebuka

    RT @leftfootfwd: . @Ed_Miliband makes case for AV at launch of #LabourYES campaign: reports @ShamikDas #Yes2AV

  3. Fabian

    Good to see the labour party, or its’ leadership at least, throwing their weight behind long overdue electoral reform.

  4. william

    The other half of the party says ‘no’.And what about the unelected lot in the House of Lords,including every failed Tory and Labour politician?

  5. Chris

    Dreadful leadership on Miliband’s part. He should have confronted the party dinosaur’s head on just as Blair did with Clause IV.

    This could have been his moment to show he was in control by enforcing a three-line whip on the issue – HE was elected leader (under AV I don’t hasten to add) and HE has the mandate to enforce such a decision.

    The hypocrisy and division in the Labour Party on this dreadfully important issue is party what drove me away from Labour post-election.

Comments are closed.