After the six weeks recess (which I must admit rather reminds me of the six week holiday we used to have when I was at school) it was back to Westminster yesterday. I don’t say it was ‘back to work’ as that suggests that the recess is all just a holiday. During the recess MP’s work just as hard as when Westminster is sitting as it gives time for them to spend more time in the Constituency.
The main item of legislative business yesterday was the Second Reading of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill. I decided that whatever its merits might be in terms of keeping the Liberal Democrats happy the Alternative Vote system of voting is a system I fundamentally disagree with and I was not prepared to vote for something I disagree with when it concerns the Constitution of our Country.
The Bill does not provide for the Alternative Vote system to be introduced automatically but it does establish all the procedures to enable all future General Elections to be held under the Alternative Vote system which will come into force if there is a ‘Yes’ vote in a National referendum. Tens of millions of pounds will be spent on the referendum question when there are so many other more important things that amount of money could be spent on. I can think of many schools and charities in Bury that would benefit from that amount of money ( or even just Bury’s share!). When I was out canvassing during the election campaign not a single person asked about the voting system and not a single person asked for a referendum on whether we should introduce a different voting system. There were lots of people who wanted us to have a referendum on our continued membership of the European Union though – now there is one referendum I do think we should have!