Friday, February 18, 2011

Yes! --- May 5th Referendum is on

May 5th Referendum is definitely on ... and if you're still undecided: here are ten reasons why you might want to vote Yes!

1. AV will force MPs to work harder to earn - and keep - our support
MPs need to secure a real majority of voters to be sure of winning, not just the 1 in 3 who can currently hand them power. They'll need to work harder to get - and keep - their jobs. The expenses scandal showed how deeply out of touch some of our politicians became from the people who elect them. It arose from a culture where some MPs have ‘seats for life, and leads to poor service, complacency and taking voters for granted.

2. AV will give us a bigger say on who our local MP is
Forget tactical voting - just pick the candidate you really want to win. But if your favourite doesn't win you can still have a say.

3. AV will tackle the ‘jobs for life’ culture in Parliament
Too many MPs have 'safe' seats for life. We saw that in the expenses crisis. The AV system will change this.

4. AV is an upgrade on our current voting system
AV builds on the current system, eliminating many of its weaknesses, retaining its strengths and strengthening the link between MPs and their communities. Voters still have just one vote.

5. AV will keep extremists out of politics
AV is the anti-extremist system because candidates have to secure a real majority to be sure of winning. First Past the post enables candidates to win with a very small percentage of the vote, which means extremist parties such as the British National Party have more chance of being elected despite most people in an area opposing them. This is one of the reasons why the BNP is opposing AV.

6. AV lets you vote for who you really want
Forget tactical voting- just pick the candidate you really want to win. With AV you can back just one candidate (like now), or if you'd like to, state a second choice, or even a third choice. Voters can vote for what they really want so there is no need to vote tactically.

7. AV gives control to more voters
Less than 2% of voters decided the last election. To be sure of winning a seat with AV, candidates will have to get over 50% of the votes in that area. They will have to work harder and not just take us for granted.

8. AV will force candidates to positively engage with the wider community
First Past the Post has created a culture of complacency whereby most MPs know they can just rely on their core vote. AV rewards politicians who can reach out to a widest range of voters. Politicians will need to engage more constructively with more people if they want to be sure of winning.

9. AV is already used by 14m people in the UK
Alternative Vote (AV) is a widely used and trusted system in Britain outside public elections, because it is used by businesses, charities, trade unions and membership organisations

10. This referendum is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for us to have our say on the current system
MPs have been deciding their own rules for far too long. This is the first time that voters are being given a say on the system we should use to elect MPs. This is our chance to have a public debate and to demand more from our democracy.


OchEye said...

Hi Andrew,
Sorry, very ambivalent about AV.
My own thought is, that as a Labour supporter, I will not be putting any number except 1 against the Labour candidate.
I see no reason to give any chance to any of the other parties to be elected.
If, as I have reason to suspect, supporters of other parties will do the same, can you give me any reason to vote Yes?

Andrew said...


Thanks for the comment. Various reasons (from a Labour perspective)here:

- and here:

Personally, I'm entirely relaxed about ordering the candidates on offer - although, under what's being proposed, you can stop at '1' if you like.