Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Make sure you vote on May 5th

David Cameron is warning voters (perhaps that should be non-voters) of the danger of sleepwalking into an assualt on democracy on May 5th if they don't get out and vote in the referendum on the electoral system. The excitement generated by the AV system is, perhaps, in line with the excitement generated by the Liberal Democrats, but nevertheless if AV goes through as a result of a record-breaking low turnout then democracy will suffer. I am convinced that AV is not a good idea, and these are my reasons:

1) It is incredibly complicated to explain. The booklet that came to our house the other day takes at least 5 times as long to explain the AV system, compared with the 'first past the post' system we currently use. I am moderately interested in politics and consider myself well-educated, but even I struggled to maintain an interest in the finer details. The claim is that the electorate will be more engaged in the process if AV is adopted, but I feel the opposite will happen.

2) It will lead to the least unpopular candidate being elected - a recipe for mediocrity. The Labour Party used AV in its last leadership election, and this is why Ed Milliband became Labour leader rather than his brother.

3) The major parties will pay undue attention to the extremist minorities in order to get their removed votes

4) It is a sop for the Liberal Democrats in return for joining the coalition.

5)The 'Yes' politicians seem to have lost confidence in their ability to persuade people, so they are employing an army of celebrity 'luvvies' to do their work for them. Why should we trust the judgement of the likes of Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, Eddie Izzard and Colin Firth any more than that of our elected representatives?

6) The whole process is wasting money that could be better spent elsewhere.

So, make sure you vote on May 5th.

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