Posts Tagged ‘britain’

The alternative vote

Thursday, May 12th, 2011 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts

On Thursday May 5th, I voted yes to the alternative vote.

Not strictly because I actually wanted the alternative vote, but because the no campaign had been so shocking immoral. If it wasn’t massively exaggerating the cost of implementing AV by including the cost of the referendum (which thanks to the no campaign we still had to pay for even though nothing has changed) it was billboards with messages like “she needs a maternity ward, not an alternative vote.” As soon as that slogan was released, they should have lost the argument on something equivalent to Godwin’s Law.

Not to mention that most of the no campaign has been based on complete lies. Their website scare mongers with claims AV would elect the BNP even though under AV it would actually be more difficult for the BNP to get elected. They trick people by saying almost nobody uses AV even though many countries use even more progressive systems than AV.

Clearly there is something very much wrong with the morality lf those on the side of the no campaign. Even before you discover the BNP are opposed to AV as well.

Some people would argue that simply not liking one side of the argument isn’t a good enough reason to vote for the other. Unfortunately, we weren’t provided with much else to make the decision on.

The yes campaign was appalling. I got a flyer taking about “more of the same” and fat cat MPs getting expenses and still to this day it remains a mystery as to how these could be considered arguments for AV. Dan Snow’s video was excellent but I only watched it a few days after the referendum which leads me to believe that most people didn’t see it at all.

The yes campaign simply failed to convince people that AV was a good idea.

The second problem, is that the yes campaign simply doesn’t have that strong an argument. First past the post is a good system, it means the person with the most votes wins. While it does mean that less than 50% of people vote for the chosen candidate that less people wanted to elect that another candidate. AV, on balance, probably is a better system. But only just.

Which leads me on to my other reason for voting for AV. Ultimately, it’s a step forward to a more progressive system of voting. If we ever do want to move to a more proportional representation system, this would have been a good stepping stone. Not to mention that if it did turn out to be a rubbish system in reality, we could just change it back. That’s the great thing about trying new things. But alas, it’s not to be.