The general election in Britain approaches on May 5 this year, and we can legitimately say for the first time in decades that it is a true three-party contest, with the Liberal Democrats putting up a good fight (they have been hovering around 20 percent in the polls, up to 23 percent in a new poll from today). And whatever you think about immigration, whatever you think about top-up fees, whatever you think about Iraq, there is one major reason to vote Lib Dem: electoral reform.
I will not rehash the entire argument for proportional representation here. We all know, I think, that Charles Kennedy will not be at 10 Downing St after the next election. But if the Lib Dems can be given the balance in a hung parliament, they can use electoral reform in their negotiations with Labour to support legislation; and the Lib Dems have a powerful incentive to maintain their commitment to electoral reform, unless they make the mistake of believing they are about to supplant Labour, which would be a risky gamble indeed.
Voting Lib Dem, once, for electoral reform; after that, voting your conscience, being able to vote for a party that truly represents your beliefs.
And no, I don't feel bad about telling British people who to vote for. After all, the Guardian did the same when it had readers send letters to voters in Ohio. And nobody's obliged to listen to me.