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Saturday, 30 April 2011

No to AV

Yup, its referendum time on Thursday. I hope you're all registered to vote!

I spent an hour or so of today handing out leaflets for the No to AV campaign in Surbiton. I was pleased with the level of interest in the issues: lots of people coming over to get info, and some people interested in talking about it.

The No to AV website has quite a comprehensive list of reasons why AV would be a pretty bad idea (http://www.no2av.org/why-vote-no/), but here are the key things which helped me make up my mind:
  1. I feel it is fair that whoever gets the most votes (on first preference), wins. It doesn't sit properly with me that a person who is nobody's first choice could win a seat. 
  2. I believe the complexity in counting votes and deciding a winner would turn people off of politics. There is a lack of transparency in the process. We all know that actually voting in preferences would not be difficult - its the count that is. 
  3. I think that if AV forces politicians to appeal to a wider spectrum of voters there will be less choice between parties as the scrabble for the centre ground becomes even more pronounced.
  4. If we want to reform the voting system to make votes fairer and politicians more accountable then there are better, more effective ways to do it. AV will not achieve fairness, proportionality or accountability. 
For those who are interested the No to AV website also dispels some myths which have been propagated, eg the Tory leadership is not decided on AV, AV does not guarantee an MP is elected on over 50% of votes, and AV is certainly not a step towards PR.