A Fairer Way to Vote?
So today the UK went to the polling stations to vote in national and local elections but also on a referendum on how we elect our MPs. There have been many adverts and TV broadcast both for and against the Alternative Vote (AV) system and it’s a shame how it’s all been done.
There’s nothing wrong being against. As the picture for this post suggests voting for AV isn’t really that great. Yes it’ll bring about change but considering that pre-election there was talk of going for a form of Proportional Representation (PR) AV is, as Clegg put it, a “miserable little compromise.” Though I would say that’s being a little harsh. AV is a compromise but it is also a step towards a fairer and more representative way of voting in our MPs.
First Past the Post (FPTP) is a good system for when, realistically, the majority of voters will vote for one of two parties. Until recently the UK was very much a two-party country with the Lib Dems being perpetual almost ran. However, as the last General Election showed, the UK public are more diverse and their votes are going, not to just the Lib Dems, but smaller parties. With the dilution, so-to-speak, of the votes to smaller parties the main parties aren’t commanding as much of the vote as they used to. It’s probably for this reason we’ve ended up with the Coalition Government of today.
What’s angered me though is the loose facts and spurious accusations the ‘No to AV’ campaign have put out there. These things have been covered fantastically well in other blogs so I won’t go into too much depth here but less to say that I’m disappointed as well as angered that the ‘No to AV’ campaign couldn’t push the legitimate weaknesses of AV as reason to vote.
As I’ve said AV isn’t the solution but it’s a step and that’s the main thing. I feel that, if we say no to AV, we won’t see a referendum on our voting system for quite some time. I purposefully waited till the polling stations were closed before I posted mainly because I didn’t want to feel like I was trying to influence anyone one way or the other. I just hope, come morning, we’ll be one step closer to a fairer voting system here in the UK.