Friday, 1 October 2010

My Position on the Alternative Vote Referendum!

I will support the calling of a referendum but I will not be supporting any change to the existing system of first past the post.

I am not averse to reform in terms of how our constitution works and would in many ways have more difficulty if the referendum was for or against a truly proportional system. But it is not and when comparing AV with first past the post it is important not to jump to a system for novelty sake.

For my part I believe that AV is the worst of all worlds.

It is a system that does not give us all a second vote – to be frank it puts much more power in the hands in minority parties.

For over 200 seats who regularly provide the winner with over 50% it will have no impact whatsoever. For another large number of seats it will ONLY give voters from small marginal parties a second vote – giving very small marginal parties a highly disproportionate say in our elections. In very few constituencies Liberal Democrat votes will be counted again. While Labour or Conservative voters will only have their second vote counted in under 50 seats – if that.

AV provides the majority with an illusion of a second vote while in the main delivering very marginal parties an additional bite at the electoral cherry.
In addition: unlike a proportional system it is very unlikely to result in smaller parties gaining any representation in Parliament. So while marginal parties – some less than acceptable - might get a second shout on Election Day, political opinion or diversity of our chamber will not in practice be broadened.

It is also one of the very few systems that delivers success to the least unpopular candidate – First Past the Post and PR do at least reflect popularity.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive and anonymous derogatory comments about real people will be deleted. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.