June 24, 2004
voted to adopt choice voting by an overwhelming majority.
This move is likely to alter the power of various political parties
within the Parliament in the future,
especially loosening the control of the Labour Party.
PR Voting will Loosen Labour
Hold on Local Authorities
June 24, 2004
Labour Partyĺ─˘s grip on councils across the country was loosened yesterday
after MSPs voted to introduce proportional representation in time for the 2007
local authority elections.
Local Governance (Scotland) Bill will deliver a single transferable vote system
(STV) which will replace the current first-past-the-post mechanism.
legislation, passed by 96 votes to 18 with two abstentions, also reduces the age
of eligibility to be a councillor from 21 to 18 and removes a ban on council
employees standing for election.
bill also establishes an independent remuneration committee to consider a
replacement of the current expenses system, pension arrangements, and a one-off
severance scheme for councillors standing down in 2007.
Scottish Liberal Democrats, who secured PR based on three- and four-member wards
in their post-election coalition deal with Labour last May - despite bitter
opposition among Jack McConnellĺ─˘s party - heralded the billĺ─˘s passage,
saying it would deliver "fair votes".
they were criticised by some opposition parties who lost their bid to make the
system even fairer, after experts warned that by not allowing five-member wards
the Executiveĺ─˘s system was the least proportional system of STV in the world.
Eadie and Elaine Smith, Labour backbenchers who lost a last-ditch bid to force a
referendum of the Scottish population on whether to allow PR, joined the Tories
to vote against the bill, while party colleagues Bill Butler and Paul Martin
SSP leader Tommy Sheridan said the proposal was "the worst of all