Leader: Electoral change – glimmers of hope?

Electoral reform remains the key to unlocking democracy in this country

For the past year, this magazine has been arguing for a referendum on electoral reform. Dismissed by some as a nerdy preoccupation on the fringe of British politics, it nonetheless holds the key to unlocking democracy in this country by breaking the stranglehold of a million or so voters in a handful of marginal seats in Middle England.

Specifically, the NS has called for the Prime Minister to hold a referendum, to coincide with next year's general election, on a proportional voting system.

Mr Brown rejected the idea in his party conference speech, promising only a referendum after the election, and that on a non-proportional alternative. So, this week, we devote a special supplement to making the case for electoral reform once more. In it, the cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw issues an optimistic rallying cry. Don't give up, he says - the government's position is not "set in stone".

This article first appeared in the 09 November 2009 issue of the New Statesman, Castro