‘Fairer votes’? Remember Tiger Hewson!

By Lord Ashcroft

The campaign to change the electoral system likes to call itself “Yes To Fairer Votes”. Under the Alternative Vote, they say, “your next MP would have to aim to get more than 50% of the vote to be sure of winning. At present they can be handed power with just one vote in three”. One vote in three. That doesn’t sound very democratic, does it? Yet those who want to change our voting system to make it fairer should be careful what they wish for, and would do well to reflect on history. In particular they should heed the case of “Tiger” Hewson.

(more…)

Crime, Punishment & The People

crimepunishment-thumb

By Lord Ashcroft

Whether or not they voted Conservative in 2010, most voters expected a Conservative-led government to be tougher on crime, and more effective in dealing with law and order, than its predecessor. When, after the election, the coalition government began to talk about a new approach that placed more emphasis on community sentencing and rehabilitation and less emphasis on prison, I decided to find out whether this was likely to restore confidence in the criminal justice system, or undermine it. Research among the general public, victims of crime, and police officers has produced striking results.

(more…)