THE Liberal Democrats’ beaten Parliamentary candidate for Halton has echoed his party’s calls for voting reform.
Frank Harasiwka finished third behind Labour’s Derek Twigg and the Conservatives’ Ben Jones in the General Election on 5,718 votes.
Mr Harasiwka’s party is a long-standing proponent of electoral reform, claiming that proportional representation would make every vote count.
The current so-called ‘first past the post’ system, sees an outright winner elected for a particular ward, with all votes for other parties effectively then becoming worthless.
He told the Weekly News: “There are many statistics that are circulated during and after a General Election, but one that I feel sums up the vagaries of our electoral system is that the Tories gained two million votes since 2005 and gained 100 seats – while the Liberal Democrats gained one million extra votes but lost five seats.
“To improve our political system we need to make every vote count equally and the opinion polls show conclusively that more than 65% of the electorate want to see a change to our voting system and when and where we can advance that cause, the Liberal Democrats will do so.”
He added that he thought Halton residents had voted tactically to keep the Tories out, a fact borne out he says by the fact the Lib Dems beat the Conservatives to second place in the local elections, but finished third in the general.
He added: “The reception I got from voters was very warm but it is clear that many who had expressed their admiration for Nick Clegg finally chose to stay with Labour for fear of the Tories winning.”