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AV Opponents Harrumphing Majors

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TEHRAN, March 19 (ICANA) – A top British Liberal Democrat has attacked Prime Minister David Cameron for his “reactionary and ridiculous” opposition to the voting system reform.
Saturday, March 19, 2011 11:09:45 PM
AV Opponents Harrumphing Majors

Lid Dem President Tim Farron, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the party campaign for a Yes vote to the shift to the Alternative Vote (AV) system, likened those in favor of keeping the first-past-the-post system in the May 5 referendum, including Cameron, to "harrumphing majors" against women suffrage a century ago.

Farron told the Lib Dem party spring conference in Manchester that “we face an opposition just as determined as that which fought against votes for women in the 1920s.”

"Norman Tebbit, Nick Griffin, David Cameron, and John Prescott... I don't know about you but that seems to me the worst possible guest list for a Celebrity Come Dine With Me episode, let alone a political campaign," he said.

"The harrumphing majors of 2011 are in the No camp. They are reactionary, ridiculous but very well resourced - funded by the Tories, backed by the BNP, encouraged by the establishment," he added.

He described voting in the referendum as “the most positive and the most important vote” to ensure people gain a “fairer” share in deciding who enters the parliament.

Farron also blamed the recent parliamentary expenses scandal on the current voting system, saying it offered MPs in safe seats a job for life.

"A No vote on May 5 means an establishment rubbing its hands with glee on May 6 - no need to change, no need to listen, business as usual,” he added.

The new voting system enables voters to put the names of their candidates in a numerical order of preference.

The move to proportional representation has been a key element of Liberal Democrats pre-election campaign though they could only secure what party leader Nick Clegg called a “miserable little compromise” to accept a poll on a shift to the Alternative Vote, which is not proportional, after entering the coalition with the Tories.

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