Neville Hobson

Why vote yes to AV?


I didn’t listen to Today on BBC Radio 4 last Wednesday and hear Mark Borkowski’s reported comment that the Alternative Vote (AV), on which we have a referendum on May 5, has created "a great yawn across the nation."

Yet that reported comment sums it all up for me.

Another leaflet came through the letterbox this morning, with another promotional message urging me to vote ‘No.’ As with the two previous leaflets I’ve received, this one was from the NOtoAV campaign. I’ve yet to hear directly from anyone with any message urging me to vote ‘Yes.’

In fact, I’ve not really seen much about the alternative vote proposals at all, whether pro or con. Where’s the debate? The interesting discussions? Isn’t this an important matter? What I have seen, like the leaflets I mentioned, is largely eyebrow-raising in its subjectivity and political rhetoric. It seems to me that the only people who care are some of the politicians and party-political activists.

Subjectivity aside, what I have focused on are these three points about the present first-past-the-post system of electing our representatives:

  1. You vote.
  2. Your vote is counted.
  3. The candidate with the most votes wins.

Seems simple to me. Is it perfect? Undoubtedly not. Yet I haven’t seen a compelling, genuine argument from anyone to suggest why I should vote against it on May 5.

For a skeptical voter like me on a topic like this, why should I even give a damn? Anyone care to present three genuine points to counter the ones above?

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