Monday, April 25, 2011

Can I have an alternative vote on AV?

"None of the above" was unlikely to have been an option on the referendum for the Alternative Vote, but it should be. The compromise on offer is far short of the fair system  of proportional representation that the country should have. And it's very short of what Nick Clegg really wanted when he struck that deal with David Cameron at the formation of the coalition.

It does give the second choices of the voters of less popular parties a say in who represents them.

I'm baffled by the argument that it will get rid of tactical voting when it will do precisely the opposite. Also, voters don't have to rank any candidates beyond 1. But to do so increases the chances of another party chalking up more on second preferences, so tactical voting is encouraged.

The "No" campaign has been dreadfully negative in the way that all "No" campaigns have to be, which leans me towards a "yes" vote. The message that democracy is expensive and wasteful is very mean spirited and wilfully dishonest.

I also get very irritated by the argument that one or other voting method is the best way of blocking out the BNP. No, the best way of doing that is the hard work of political campaigning and community activism. Attacking their lies at every turn. Not a voting system. And even if it was, then frankly, that's what democracy is meant to be: the will of the people.

So, I am all for change. I am all for plurality. But I am far from convinced about the merits of AV.

1 comment:

phil said...

Very funny still awaiting the result and hope it is a no!

Used to live at Mellor by the way

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