Thursday 14 April 2011

Why I'm backing AV

I will be voting in favour of the Alternative Vote on May 5th for one very simple reason: it is far better to have an MP who has got the support of 50% of their electorate rather than one who may represent just a third of them. That's it. It isn't complex. Sun readers should surely be able to grasp even if the newspaper's editors find it too difficult.

But instead of a straightforward argument about whether or not this is a good principle, we have been subjected to an awful lot of rubbish on both sides. Perhaps this is always the case with referendums - in Ireland, where they are almost an annual event thanks to the strictures of the Constitution, one divorce referendum was lost over the supposed threat to family farms. Even so,  the sheer fatuousness of the current AV debate would give the Irish a run for their money.

The cost of AV was said to be depriving us of nurses (no, that'll be down to Lansley's new bureaucracy and his 'efficiency savings') while AV was apparently going to get rid of nasty crooked MPs (only if a majority of people vote against them). The broadcasts by both sides must rank as among the worst ever shown in recent times. Yet, in truth, this is a modest measure that will make our voting system a little fairer. Nothing more, nothing less. And I'll be voting Yes.

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