Thursday, 3 March 2011

Getting it all in proportion

Only Waitrose could possibly conceive that Parmesan cheese is one of life's essentials. Much as I like it, I don't think I would be traumatised without it. It all depends on what side of the tracks you're from I guess.

The Cat's Mother and I went to see Diva, which was a special showing at the ENO's Coliseum this week. It's a film I love and could watch time and time again. The Cat's Mother, who hadn't seen it before merely commented that it was very much a French film of its time. She may have been one of the ones laughing inappropriately in the wrong places.

Proportionality is a big thing in the house at the moment. Of course an adult view of what is proportionate is different to a teenager's, and generally based on years of valuable experience. So it's more likely to be right. But that doesn't mean that I've forgotten the emotions of thirty odd years ago. Anyway, it's not made for an easy week, but what do I know, I'm just a Dad.

On the subject of proportionality, I see we have a referendum to decide the best way of electing our corrupt representatives to the House of Inequity. Now voting is something I do know a little bit about. I spent three years studying it at one of the universities that is now planning to charge anyone who plans to follow my footsteps £9000 for the privilege - if you look at the end results you may not feel that is good value for money. Anyway the nay sayers have always rejected any change on the basis that it leads to ineffective coalition governments. Right at the moment they don't have much of an argument there do they? I seem to remember that Italy had achieved something like 40 different governments since the second world war by the 1980's which seems to re-inforce the NO argument (they use a form of proportional voting). But, remarkably they had very consistent policies throughout the period, and at one stage a larger economy by value than the UK. I'm so overwhelmed by Mr Berulsconi, I can't quite see policies for bunga bunga parties, but they're still not doing too badly. Anyway, the main thrust of the No campaign is that the cost of running an election will be such that we won't be able to give our soldiers bullet proof jackets. Wasn't that the problem under Blair and Brown?

So I can see no reason not to vote yes. AV is far from being perfect, and I think would have made little difference to the ultimate result in the last election, and there are many far better (albeit more complicated) systems, but it is fairer and does give a value to each and every vote. The current system means that the result is actually decided by just a few tens of thousands of votes. We need a much wider ranging reform of politics, including the democratisation of the House of Lords, but in the meantime I'll take what I can get.

So in this referendum I shall put my one non-transferable vote into the yes box, whilst recognising that ultimately we get the politicians we deserve. We must be a terrible bunch. Hopefully when The Boy is old enough to vote, he'll see the benefit of getting everything in proportion.