Why let the facts get in the way of a good argument?

Via Paul Davies on MakeMyVoteCount, I came across this article from some oik who claims to be the Torygraph’s Europe Correspondent.

His article appears to be the worst argument against PR I’ve ever come across: namely, that because the Belgium Parliament failed to force a minister to resign, all PR systems are indefensible.

A couple of points, aside from the obvious one about the futility of using a single anecdote to condemn a whole system of government:

  1. We’ve had plenty of examples of incompetence by government ministers in this country over the last few years. When did we last have a vote of confidence on any of them?
  2. Do you really believe – even for a second – that if the Commons had a vote on Charles Clarke that the FPTP-manufactured Labour majoritiy would vote to get rid of him?

The Telegraph have been annoying me a lot recently, as they are one of the main culprits for spreading the myth that the House of Lords is more “independent” of party politics than the House of Commons (fact: there are more serial rebels in the Commons than in the Lords). As the newspaper most dedicated to preserving the nonsense that is our current system of government, they don’t seem to be troubled by the need for either facts or logic.


  1. “Here, a fiendishly complex voting system, coupled with deep divisions between the French and Flemish speaking communities, means that the country is run by a mess of overlapping coalition governments.”

    Amazingly untrue. Certainly the case that the country has a complicated system of parliaments – but because of its history rather because of its voting system.

    Where did Ambrose get to?

  2. I liked the way the cause of the minister’s woes, an absconder from justice, hopped out of her get-away car at a red light and jumped on a bus. It shows that environmentally sound transport is a lot more efficient than private cars.

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