AV is constantly being discussed on my twitter feed but I have yet to see any proper debate of the positives and negatives of AV or what each outcome could mean for the country. All the discussion I’ve seen has been focused on individual campaigns, as in “The Yes Campaign has done this” or “The No Campaign is supported by this person”, you know what? I DON’T CARE. These aren’t political parties we’re electing. If the no campaign “wins” then they aren’t getting an office in Whitehall, if the yes campaign “wins” they aren’t going to start setting government policy.
I would love for politics to be less dirty and to stop the ad hominem attacks but as far as I’m concerned the important issues about this referendum are:
- Is AV a good move forward for our electoral system?
- What is the possibility for further electoral reform in the future?
- Is this really a referendum on how Nick Clegg is doing as Deputy Prime Minister?
I’m uncertain about the first question, AV is not proportional and I don’t think that it is much different from First Past The Post. In my opinion people living in swing seats will still decide elections (*cough* Daily Mail readers *cough*), this was why I was wary of voting yes to begin with. The reason I made up my mind and am now voting yes is because a certain person on twitter persuaded me a no vote will be seen as a validation of the status quo and would kill any chance of further electoral reform for decades (I am aware that there is a risk that a yes vote for AV could be seen in a similar way but it’s a risk I’m willing take).
A further reason I’m voting yes is Ed Miliband.
Because he is campaigning for a yes vote I am less worried that a yes vote on the referendum will be validating Nick Clegg’s decisions. I’m also glad that Ed is calling the government “Tory-led” rather than “The Coalition”. I have been bitterly disappointed by this coalition. I voted Labour so have no reason to feel betrayed by the Liberal Democrats for joining forces with the Conservatives. The reason I’m disappointed with the Liberal Democrats is for ruining the opportunity to show Britain how a coalition can mean careful, considered governance by steam rolling ahead with radical plans which never received a mandate from the electorate. They are acting like this current government received a landslide win (like in 1945, 1979 or 1997) and I am constantly having to remind myself that not all coalitions have to be like this current one.
So those are the reasons I am voting yes on the referendum. If you’re voting no then that’s fine (I don’t think you’re a dinosaur or a Nazi) all I want is for there to be a calm grown up discussion about electoral reform, preferably over tea and cupcakes.
*Cheesy I know but it made me giggle