Opinion Former Article

Electoral Reform Society: Simplifying Scottish Elections

Moves by Liberal Democrats to deliver the Single Transferable Vote (STV) to the Scottish Parliamentary Elections have been greeted by the Electoral Reform Society.

In a campaign aimed at changing the way members of the Scottish Parliament are elected, Liberal Democrat leader Nicol Stephen has lodged a motion in Holyrood calling on the UK Government to bring forward legislation to introduce STV in time for the next Scottish Parliament elections, scheduled for 2011.

And in a demonstration of joined up tactics, this Tuesday, Liberal Democrat Shadow Scottish Secretary Jo Swinson, supported by MPs Alistair Carmichael, Malcolm Bruce, Danny Alexander, John Barrett, Alan Reid and Charles Kennedy, presented a Bill to the House of Commons, with similar provisions on STV for Holyrood. Jo Swinson added:

"This government has already overseen the implementation of successful STV elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly. We have also seen all 32 Scottish local authorities successfully elected by STV. Now is the time to introduce STV elections for the Scottish Parliament."

This news comes soon after problems emerged with the Additional Member System (AMS) currently operated for election to the Scottish Parliament.

Dr Ken Ritchie, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society said:

"The events of 3 May revealed major inadequacies in the processes electing Members of the Scottish Parliament. But the same day, local government elections held under STV have managed to deliver decent local government to Scotland.

"This was major vote of confidence for the new system, and the type of government it has delivered. We commend Jo Swinson, Nicol Stephen and their colleagues for taking the necessary steps to make Scottish democracy simpler and more representative."

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