Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Why I'm Voting Yes

In around 10 and half hours from now at 7am on the 5th May, the polls will open on the UK's AV referendum. If you have a vote, I urge you to use it - whatever your views. Obviously, though, I hope you join me in voting yes. 

There are many reasons I'm voting yes, here are just three of them:

First Past the Post is not suited to multi-party politics - it allows candidates to win on a minority of the vote - often c. 35% - 40%, especially where the opposition is split. AV tackles this by allowing voters to express their preferences for each individual candidate - ensuring that where there are multiple candidates on one side or other of the political spectrum their is a greater chance of the result being acceptable to a greater proportion of the electorate.

No system will eliminate tactical voting but AV provides a mechanism to reduce this. Imagine you're a left-leaning supporter of the Green party but you know that only Labour or the Tories can win where you live. Do you vote on principle knowing that this could potentially increase the chance of the Tories winning or do you vote Labour in the hope of electing a party and candidate closer to your views. (If it's easier substitute UKIP for Green and swap Labour for Tory and vice-versa...) Under AV supporters of fringe parties can express there particular allegiance while being assured there vote can still count for a candidate that can win.

While AV is far from my first choice of electoral system, it is an improvement to First Past the Post allowing more plurality in our politics and, over time, may allow real support for the likes of the Green party to grow as voters and potential voters become aware of others who share there believes but wouldn't express them under the current system. A no vote, on the other hand, will kill any chance of electoral progress for a generation.

So tomorrow, take time to vote - and vote Yes for a fairer system, Yes for change, Yes for a greater say.


1 comment:

Raybeard said...

Polling stations open in 15 mins. I'll be there as one of the first, to record my 'YES'.

Near despair at not just the likely result but at the feeble way the 'Yes' campaign has countered the lies e.g. only yesterday Andrew Neil was asking Eddie Izzard "Why should supporters of marginal parties, like the BNP, get a SECOND vote?" which Eddie failed to respond to properly. The answer is that EVERYONE gets a second, third, etc vote as long as it takes, because unless one's party came last, your primary choice vote is counted again and again. Are they saying that everyone's SECOND choice should then only be counted, and their first choices discarded? Of course not. Indeed, marginal parties lose out because their supporters first choice is uniquely eliminated. Why can't everyone understand that or are they just deliberately being obtuse in order to mislead others?
Oh well, let's not give up hope quite just yet. (Sigh! - with more than a little desperation.)