So, let me get this right. The Prime Minister wants a referendum on electoral reform, yet won't give us a referendum he promised on the Lisbon Treaty. Make of that what you will. Details have yet to emerge, but it appears as part of his bid to get his government back on track, he will propose that the AV system of proportional representation (except that it is a) not very proportional and b) not very representative) should be introduced to make the voting system fairer. He will also propose that the House of Lords should be either wholly or almost wholly elected.
I can't conceive that there is time between now and the next election for either measure to be introduced. If we are to change our voting system for elections to the House of Commons there should be an extended national debate about it. I am not opposed to PR in principle. I'd happily see it introduced for local government elections or even elections to the House of Lords - but not the form of PR we have for Euro elections or elections to the Scottish Parliament or Welsh Assembly. But I remain implacably opposed to PR for Westminster elections as no one has ever proposed a system which maintains the constituency link. AV does that, but it could lead to even bigger disparities than there are at present - as LibDems will be quick to point out.
I would welcome a wholly elected House of Lords, but again, this needs to be thought through. I can see no argument in this day and age for an appointed second chamber, but we need to be very clear what we want from it. It does a good job at the moment, and we need to ensure that a newly constituted House of Lords isn't ruined in the name of progress.
I find it astonishing that after just one quick meeting of his new Democratic Renewal Council, Gordon Brown is wanting to fiddle with our constitution purely so he can look as if he is doing something, anything, to regain the political initiative. We've seen where we get when Labour acts in constitutional haste. We repent at our leisure. They started a programme of devolution and House of Lords reform without in either case having the faintest idea what their endgame was. The endgame is clear in this case - saving Gordon Brown's political face.