I don’t know if you are for or against the Alternative Vote – that’s between you and the ballot box – but what I do know is that I really don’t like the way the ‘No’ campaign is being run.
In the post yesterday was a flier from the ‘No’ campaign informing me that that if I vote ‘Yes’ then I will be committing the governement to spending £130 million on electronic vote counting machines. I’ve looked into this. It’s absolute piffle! There are no such plans.
In Saturday’s ‘Daily Telegraph’ there was an article saying that the Conservatives calculate that it will cost three times as much to run a general election under AV. OK, maybe it would cost a bit more because of the extra counting when the leading candidate doesn’t get 50% straight off, but three tomes as much? How do you work that out?…
Well, apparently the Conservatives took the costs per head of running an election in Australia and then extrapolated it. Unfortunately, they neglected to mention that Australia is the size of Western Europe and in places very sparsely populated. Oh, yeah, and they elect both houses not just the one.
Then there’s ‘minority parties are evil’ scare tactic. AV will allow the BNP to get seats in parliament. Maybe, but only if 50% of the electorate vote for it.
And, of course, our troops will die from lack of equipment if we spend the money on AV. More crap – even if we don’t spend the money on AV you can bet your life the troops won’t get any of it.
And let’s not forget this classic : “Changing the way we vote will give the politicians more power to ignore the verdict of the voters”! How the hell do you work that one out? They already ignore us!
I’m all in favour of a vigorous debate, but it strikes me the ‘No’ campaign is aptly named – it’s 100% negative.
There are pros and cons on both sides of this debate. At the end of the day it’s up to the voters. Personally, I would couple this to compulsory voting, because if you don’t vote then you have no right to complain about what you get.
The one thing I would say about AV is that I find it hard to understand how political parties can elect their own leaders under this system, but want to deny us the right to do the same. But that’s politicians for you – one rule for them and another for us.
Personally, I’m in Greece on polling day, so I’ve already posted my vote. How about you?