Yes or No – AV and Royals

A referendum is looming and the pressure is on. Not least because before today I didn’t really even understand what AV was, who wanted it or why it would be good or bad. After three hours googling with K I have finally decided to vote yes in the referendum mainly because I can’t find any good arguments against it.

All the parties have explanations of what AV is and why it’s good or bad. The Greens say vote for it because it shows we want change, the Lib Dems say it’s fairer, UKIP say it will show that more people like them, Labour seems spilt over AV but Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone which seem redeemable features of the Labour Party are all for it because it represents change. In the No camp we have the conservatives who say it will be unfair, the BNP who say that it won’t get them more votes and and Respect say vote yes to PR by voting no to AV. Despite the BNP campaign The Daily Mail says that ‘AV would be a gift to the BNP’ that it ‘would mean that supporters of fringe parties such as Respect or the BNP would have their votes counted several times, not just once’.
Which makes it sound like smaller parties get more votes whereas it would actually mean that larger parties would get the otherwise wasted fringe votes. While the outcome probably won’t be very different from FPTP, the results will give us a better picture of what people want and and the elected candidate perhaps won’t be everyone’s first choice but will be the first, second, third or fourth choice of lots of people. Unlike PR it won’t get smaller parties more seats but unlike FPTP it allows people to vote for their first choice confident that their vote won’t be wasted. Seems to me it will get rid of all those people who say you have to vote for either Labour or Conservative or you might as well not vote and that statement always annoys me.

I do believe we need political change, we need to be represented by accountable, immediately recallable delegates who represent us and implement our vision of a fairer better world. AV sadly won’t give us that but it will show that we want change and I’m all for that. At Uni we used AV in our elections and it seems reasonable enough.

Yes to Fairer Votes is the website for the Yes Campaign and they’ve made a video that sort of explains it with pictures and a soothing voice.

Of course today is the day the two rich people we’ve never met got married and I did enjoy the day off work, so I feel it’s only right to say something about it – so I’ll link to Schnews’ commemorative tea towel and mention that so far 52 people protesting have been arrested as well as pre-emptive arrests yesterday that the police claim had nothing to do with the wedding.

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