Is Mark Reckons the most influential Lib Dem blogger?

Minty-fresh new(ish) party member Mark Thompson asked this very question about Charlotte Gore a few days ago, oddly enough. But this morning he has a considerable claim to that position himself.

Here’s Polly Toynbee in the Guardian writing about – yes – the need for full constitutional reform:

Here’s interesting evidence: research by a political blogger about the correlation between greed in MPs and the safety of their seats. Of the 94 implicated so far, there were nearly three times more in the top quarter of safest seats than in the bottom quarter of most marginal constituencies. Seats where parties can run a donkey in a red or blue rosette breed complacency and tempt corruption. Nefarious practices thrive in any dark corners of politics unchecked by scrutiny or competition. Time for a constitutional revolution.

This is fabulous work. A few well-placed emails obviously go a long way. Three cheers and a People’s Republican Guard of Honour for Mark Reckons!

Of course, a cynic would point out that it makes sense for Polly et al to suddenly start seeing the point of electoral reform. Their beloved party is, after all, about to be crucified in the First Past The Post system. Since the government has proven itself incapable time and again of doing anything either right or popular, electoral reform is the only way left of reducing the coming Tory majority now. Expect to see more Labour affiliates weighing in on this one over the coming weeks. And Tory commentators finding lots of terribly good reasons why it’s a bad idea.



  1. Blimey! Thank you for this Alix but I think I just got lucky that Polly happened to be doing a piece on constitutional reform when my e-mail plopped into her box.

    It is nice to have a link from a comment piece in a national newspaper but most importantly, it will hopefully get people talking about and thinking about the substance of my post which is the broken electoral system and questioning if it has actually encouraged corruption.

    Electoral reform is a fairly inaccessible subject but I really feel this is a once in a political generation opportunity to use something that has the entire country’s attention to focus on how unfair (and potentially corrupting) the system is and I think the message we can get across will be understood by a lot more people than when I try to argue how STV is better than FPTP!

  2. Aha! Wonderful stuff, Mark Reckons, and well deserved. My only reservation would be that links in the MSM, in my experience, are not always as fruitful as links on popular blogs. I was once linked to in the New Statesman – and I think got about 40 hits on the back of it. One gets more off LD Blogs. Grauniad, however, should cause much more traffic than New Statesman (which I assume is mainly still read in shiny paper format), so I hope it proves extremely beneficial and thus makes this comment completely redundant.

  3. Interesting point Julian about the amount of traffic from the mainstream media.

    I have been in Iain Dale’s Daley Dozen a couple of times and Guido linked to me once and they all caused a huge spike in traffic with hundreds of visits from them each time. I was also linked to by The Guardian in an article about Ian Tomlinson’s death and the reaction of the blogosphere although my link was crowded by lots of other links to other blogs but from that I got over 400 views so I was hoping that being the only link in the latter part of Polly’s piece that I would get more than that.

    So far today (and yesterday evening) I have had 271 views come in from The Guardian to my post and it is not even the afternoon yet (and analytics is always an hour or so behind). I am hoping for a spike at lunchtime and then later this evening when people are more able to sit down and read but it is fascinating for me to see the patterns for these things and thought you might also be interested.

  4. Good stuff, Mark – the stats seem to confirm that the Grauniad gets a hell of a lot more online hits than the NS. Obvious, I know, but interesting to see it confirmed via click throughs.

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