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The recess is over
06/09/2010 07:29:00

Before the Election, David Cameron promised to put an end to the ludicrously long summer holidays Parliament used to have (the summer recess often used to last from late July to early October) so today the House of Commons is back in session.

And we have an important piece of legislation to consider - the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, one of the cornerstones of the coalition agreement. The Bill does two things.

First, it provides for a referendum on 5th May next year on whether we should change the system for electing MPs from the current system, where whoever gets the most votes wins, to a system called the Alternative Vote, where instead of putting a cross next to your preferred candidate you number the candidates in order of preference and if no candidate gets half the first preference votes the second preference votes of the least popular candidates are reallocated. Personally I prefer the current system (under AV the Liberal Democrats would be in government pretty much the whole time, which isn’t very democratic) but I recognise that some of you take a different view and I am very happy for the issue to be put to the British people in a referendum.

The second thing that the Bill does is provide for a review of constituency boundaries, which at the moment vary in size a great deal. I represent over 75,000 people but some MPs represent less than 50,000. That can’t possibly be fair.

So it promises to be an interesting first day back. And it's good to see the new Parliament doing away with the long holidays and taking its job of holding the Government to account a bit more seriously.

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Gavin Barwell, House of Commons, SW1A 1AA, Tel  020 8660 0491      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG