a final word on Yes2AV

So far in this debate I’ve not really seen much from the Yes lobby that tells me why theirs is a good idea; it has all been about the FPTP system being wrong and that AV is great, but why?

As any of you that have read my previous posts on this topic will know I am against it, but again, to be fair, why?

Well, in what will, hopefully, be my final blog on the subject, here’s why:

What is the point of your vote? It is to elect the person that you would like to have represent you. Now this has become slightly corrupted in that you probably really vote for the party that they represent rather that the person. There is a distinction, but let’s leave it at that for now.

You get the one choice, and why would you want a second choice? Now the AV lobby will have you believe that you might have a second, third, or more choice, but is it really true that someone will say “I’m voting for party A, but party D would be my second choice, and Party F my third choice”? I really doubt that.

What is far more likely is that they will say “I want party A to win and party B to lose”. Let’s face it, someone who votes Tory is going to want the Labour party to lose and vice versa, so what can they do?

Under AV they can either vote as they do now choosing their one favoured candidate, leaving the other candidates boxes on their form unticked,

or they can vote for more than one candidate and put the one they don’t want to win as far down the list as they can

or they could vote for their favourite, plus some of the others, but not the one that they don’t want.

If they take the first option then there is no difference from now. If they take either of the other options they are voting tactically.

Now we need to be honest here and acknowledge that, apart from some specific areas of the UK, there are two main parties; Conservative and Labour, then there are the LibDems, and then the rest. Can anyone really say that this is not the case? You only have to look at the numbers to see it, or just glance at history. Apart from the current coalition, or the war years, when did we have anyone other than the top two in power?

So if you are voting tactically and you want either Conservative or Labour to win and the other to lose, then you need to make your second choice one that is going to attract enough votes to push the unwanted candidate down, and the only realistic second choice for most is therefore LibDem.

In one of my other blogs on this subject someone has commented about how many LibDem voters complained last year that they had not voted LibDem to get a Tory government, but isn’t that what AV is about. I, too, remember that now and understand her point.

Persuade me I’m wrong if you can, but as I see it if someone is elected on a raft of second, and possibly third, choice votes, how is this better than what we have now? Unless you are one of those who have successfully voted tactically that is.


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