More on electoral reform

Nick Robinson has just written a fascinating post revealing lots of interesting detail about what's happening in the Democratic Renewal Council, which I mentioned on Saturday.

It seems that both Lords reform and electoral reform are on the cards for quick action - though the electoral system being most seriously considered is not PR but Alternative Vote (interestingly, I had an informed response by email to Saturday's article which hinted at this). Nick explains the difference in his article linked above. I'm not sure if AV is more likely to favour Labour electorally than PR, but no doubt we will hear further analysis soon.

Needless to say I think this bold and swift action is exactly the right political move for the government to take, and if followed up with consistently bold announcements from the other two cabinet Councils, will help to show that Labour does have a vision for the future of government. I'm not sure which should report first, but probably domestic policy, as the economic council is the party's strongest card and should probably be saved for last.

In related news, Paul Krugman last night predicted the technical end of the US recession this summer, resulting in a 100-point rise in the Dow Jones (more on that later). Today he posted strong indications that the British economy may be out of recession even sooner, and asked why Gordon Brown doesn't get more political credit for this.

It makes sense that if things do get better over the next nine months, Brown will start to benefit from it in the polls. Will it be enough? That depends on how the government plays its political cards. There's a lot of resentment to expunge and it will take honesty, openness and courage to achieve that. An economic recovery is the beginning of a political recovery, not its sole condition.

Update: Since Paul Mason insists, yes he did say PR was up for consideration even before the weekend. Well done Paul. Maybe you can scoop Nick Robinson a bit more if they don't make you stick to the economics beat...


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