Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Vote YES to Alternative Voting

Politics evolves.  It has to if you want a better life.  If you reckon living under our supposed democratic system is better than living under a dictatorship then keep it powered by voting.  It has become increasingly clear that our system of democracy has some significant flaws.  I frequently hear people expressing the view that they don't want to vote because they are only really given the choice to vote for one of two parties where they don't agree with either.  It is a complicated issue which involves money, publicity, power and influence.  But there is no doubt that to get a better representation of what the collective population think is an improvement.

There are arguments that people who vote for extreme parties are extreme and it is not helpful to add weight to their second choice.  But this is the wrong way of thinking about it.  The point is that if the reality is that a large percentage of people are left wing and a few are right wing then to ignore or eliminate the legitimate views of the right wing can only be unjust and lead to a perceived need to be more extreme by the right wing.  Our current system polarises and causes dissent and extremism.   We are in danger of going down the road that only "acceptable" views are tolerated.   But democracy has as a fundamental ideal that everyone's views matter.  It is important to temper policies according to the collective views of all of the population.  First past the post politics leads to division and intolerance.

The Alternative Vote system is far from perfect but it is a definite improvement on the current one.

If the country votes to keep the current system the result will be that the "NO" to AV side will consider the question of electoral reform dead and we are stuck in a system that will not bring good fortune and evolution in the long run.  If the "YES" to AV side wins there will be no doubt in politician's minds that the country wants electoral reforms and there will be added impetus to continue improving the way our democracy works.

The current system encourages lies and deception.  As Tony Blair said in his pre election speech back in 1997 "We know we are right so we will say whatever it takes to get into power."  That might be paraphrasing him but I recall being shocked at the implications.  When the fight is between two parties then it is about winning and not about policies and responding to the public's views.  When politicians are faced with the very real prospect that they might not get into power simply because they belong to the strongest party of two they become more receptive to the collective views of their constituencies.  Politicians are forced to become more responsible and representative.

There are emotive arguments put forward in favour of saying NO to AV.  There are fear mongers suggesting things could be worse.  But there are very little rational and sensible arguments put forward.  It appears that the thinking people are fully aware that AV is a step in the right direction.

DO NOT LET THIS OPPORTUNITY PASS by havering (not a word but it sounds right - I suspect it is a merger of hesitating and wavering).  SAY YES TO AV because we must have change to stop this Orwellian decline into authoritarian control by deception.  Moderates and extremists alike will benefit from a more representative voting system.  Next on the agenda is proportional voting but let's take it one step at a time.

I can't really emphasise strongly enough that we don't want this opportunity to pass because the British public are getting lethargic and uninterested in politics because they don't feel their voice is heard anyway.  If you want your views taken into account and to have more effect  then you simply must vote YES to Alternative Voting.

There is no alternative to voting YES to Alternative Voting.  Alternatively you might take the alternative route and vote no and leave the future with no alternative but the current decline into no alternative politics.  Got that?


Thank you and goodnight.

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