Say YES to AV
In May we have the chance to move to a fairer voting system called Alternative Vote (AV). Rather than marking one candidate with an ‘X’, you put a ‘1’ against your favourite candidate, a ‘2’ against your next favourite, and so on. This small change in the way you vote would lead to big improvements.
Every vote counts
Today, parties can concentrate on a few thousand swing voters in a handful of marginal constituencies and largely ignore everyone else. Under AV, candidates need to get 50% of the votes to win, so there will be fewer safe seats and politicians will have to work harder to get broad support.
No more tactical voting
In Orpington many Labour supporters vote Lib Dem as they see a vote for Labour as a wasted vote. AV puts an end to this tactical voting as you can put the Labour candidate as your first preference, a candidate from another party as your second preference, and so on.
Many British elections are already run successfully using preference voting systems. Most political parties use AV to elect their leaders and many organisations use AV to elect their governing bodies.
Ignore the myths and scares in May. Choose AV and make your vote count.
Say NO to AV
AV is unfair, giving parties unearned votes. Candidates that win on second preferences haven’t won the argument on the best vision for government, giving them a false mandate – a vote share that does not match their support. Under First Past The Post (FPTP), the elected MP has more people supporting their vision than any other person.
If smaller parties want Parliamentary representation, they must present themselves as an alternative. Labour is an example. Labour began small but brought its case to the people, won the argument on the way forward for Britain and formed a government, all within thirty years. This is possible for anyone but would be harder under AV. Gaining 40% to dislodge an incumbent is easier than gaining 51%.
A change to AV solves no problems. FPTP problems exist under AV. Safe seats always exist in a geographical system and the final decision is left to marginals. AV is less proportionate than FPTP too. Also, politicians may stop differentiating themselves under AV to gain second preferences. The complaint from apathetic voters of “They’re all the same!” could get louder.
There’s a confusion between electoral and political reform in this debate. To truly improve politics we need to do things like have constituency parties elect strong principled candidates over those sent from head office. This is the change needed, not AV.
VOTE NO because we don’t need electoral reform. First Past The Post is a fairer and better system than the Alternative Vote.