Polish Londoner

These are the thoughts and moods of a born Londoner who is proud of his Polish roots.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Vote AV 5th May

I am amazed that the No campaign on AV is making so much headway though I know that it is being driven by moneyed Tory barons and the old Labour diehard dinosaurs.

In my opinion it is vital to go with the Alternative Vote option because the First Past the Post system (FPTP) no longer reflects the voting pattern of the British electorate, although it was a perfect system in the 1950s when 80% of voters opted either for Labour or Tory to reflect their inherited culture or class interests.

Now the old blocks have gone and following the 2010 election the FPTP system has given us a parliament where 2/3 of today's MPs had more constituents voting against them than for them. In the previous decades we had both Thatcher and Blair obtain massive House of Commons majorities on less than 40% of the vote. That is a nonsense.

Also there is no incentive to vote in constituencies where each time a big party is elected on around 35% of the vote and voters are not encouraged to express support for the party they really want because they fear that the party they dislike most would get through on FPTP. Basically those people are disenfranchised.

The No campaign has said that AV favours minorities and that those voting for smaller parties can vote 2 or 3 times while the steadfast big party supporters are only likely to visit once. Rubbish! Each time a candidate with the lowest figure is eliminated the votes of all voters are recounted again (even if as part of a bloc).

The No campaign says that under AV "losers" will now win elections. No. It's the unpopular "losers" with more votes against rather for that will be dropped.

No campaign says AV favours permanent instability or a permanent coalition including Lib Dems. That is not the experience of Australia where AV has been used successfully for years. The last election result with a shaky coalition has been an exception and not the rule. Lib Dems could lose out in AV as much as Labour depending which one of the progressive parties is more under the shadow. The real losers of AV are likely to be the Tories, as generally more vote against them than for them. The most to gain are likely to the Greens and maybe UKIP.

AV is too complicated, say the No campaigners. A load of bollocks. We use AV in most of our community elections, especially when voting for chairmen of committees, etc. Cameron himself won the Tory leadership on AV. Is is too complicated for the voters of Fiji or Australia or Papua new Guinea, where AV is practised? Are the Tories saying we are too thick?

AV is more expensive? Why? No need for counting machines or computers as "No" campaigners claim.

AV is used only by 3 countries, says the No vote. But NOBODY ELSE uses FPTP!

We need a new system to challenge the lazy corrupt MPs of the past vegetating on their safe seats. We are more likely to get constituency-sensitive MPs reporting back regularly to their voters, when they know that EVERY vote counts, not just their usual loyalist supporters.