Co-operative Party call for STV voting

The thorny issue of electoral reform will be debated at the Co-operative Party’s annual conference in Cardiff’s Hilton Hotel next month.

A motion calling on the Party to urge the Government to abandon plans for a referendum to introduce the Alternative Vote system next year, and opt instead for the more proportional Single Transferable Vote method, has been tabled by Midlands Western Party.

The motion says the AV or Party List systems should be rejected as they do not represent voters’ wishes and calls on the Co-op Party to campaign for the introduction of STV within the lifetime of the current Parliament.

Another motion urges the Party to oppose “so-called nationalist forces” who seek to weaken or break up the UK. The motion, submitted by the Co-operative Group’s Scottish Party, says the best solution for the four nations of the UK is to “work together to ensure the best collective benefits for all.”

Concern about the lack of progress towards House of Lords reform is reflected in a motion proposed by the Group’s West Mercia Party, which asks conference to reiterate its support for a fully elected second chamber.

Motions relating to international and environmental issues include a call for the Party to review its policy on the renewal of the Trident missile programme, to enhance its green credentials and back the proposed extension of the high-speed national rail network.

On Trident, the Co-op Group’s South & West Region Party says the Party should carry out a review of the options relating to Britain’s nuclear deterrent and report back to the 2011 conference.

Midlands Society Northern Party suggests the high-speed rail network expansion should be run by a system similar to that outlined in the Party’s proposals for mutual ownership of the railway industry and says the network should be developed in a fair and balanced way to benefit Scotland, Wales and the English regions.

The Midlands Western Party highlights the environment in a motion which suggests that “proposed measures to address the climate change threat should be integral to all documents, policy papers and election addresses; not just added occasionally when it suits”.

A separate motion from North East & Cumbria Party urges members to avoid flying within Britain wherever possible and calls on the Party to purchase carbon offsetting for unavoidable domestic flights.

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