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Why Labour is at war with itself

August 11, 2015

I’ve been watching the fun and games around the Labour election at the moment, and how incredibly emotional it’s getting, both from people who hate what Labour has become (and hope Corbyn can rescue it from that), and from people who believe that a left-wing Labour will never get elected (and will thus settle for any electable party that’s to the left of the Conservatives). And this is really tearing Labour apart, to the point where MPs are plotting a coup if he wins. And the one thing that’s _really_ obvious to me is that this is all the fault of the electoral system. If we had a proportionate electoral system then at some point either the centre ground would have split off (presumably in the 90s) or the left-wing would have split off (presumably in the 2000s), and we’d have two reasonably sized “Left of the Conservatives” parties, which would give voters a choice of who they supported in each election, and where they wanted the government to go. As it is, we’re stuck with parties constantly at war with each other – and frequently at war with their base, as most of the MPs want a party that wins elections, and the base want a party that represents their views.

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