I shall be saying Yes2AV next week, if I can get to a polling station, as I shall be working. It’s not much of an excuse, but its the last day of the working week and I shall be commuting back to Hampshire, particularly if I want to vote in the local authority elections.
I have finally made my mind up and believe that
- AV will allow people to state their first preferences, we’ll get true idea of the locus of political debate in the UK and its constituent countries and regions.
- its wrong that elections are decided by swing voters in about 50 seats,
- MPs should have the, at least, tacit support of the majority of their constituents, FPTP disenfranchises people who live in areas dominated by their opponents; they either have to vote for their 2nd preferences, not bother or just hope their vote counts in the total national scores. AV will give more people a reason to vote.
- I care more about stopping the ‘elective dictatorship’ of a single party government than I do about having a ‘firm’ government with a secure majority. Thatcher’s government didn’t listen to, well, anyone really and Blair’s majority isolated him from taking advice from his real friends and supporters, leading to tragic mistakes.
Finally it may have a liberating effect on political organisation and debate in this country; the tensions within the Parties may require them to ask their voters to help them resolve their debates creating new re-alignments.
It may be a ‘miserable little compromise’, but FPTP has been dying for years, its rarely used in civic society and we’ve been using more proportional systems in public elections more and more frequently, notably in the European Parliament, and in Northern Ireland. It’s not perfect, more proportional systems would be best but it’s better in my mind than the current system.