Home > AV referendum > To AV or not to AV?

To AV or not to AV?

February 9, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ever since the possible referendum on changing from First Past the Post (FPTP) to the Alternative Vote (AV), I’m been trying to work out what I’m going to do.

I’ll either vote in favour of AV, or not vote at all. I despise FPTP-but I don’t see that AV is a marked improvement.

I would prefer the Single Transferrable Vote, but thanks to the Coalition agreement, that’s not an option.

I’m leaning towards supporting the AV campaign. Not for any principled reason but more out of party loyalty. I’m starting to wonder just how damaging to the party and to the coalition if the referendum is lost.

Or, thanks to new amendments from the Lords, if AV wins the day, but the 40% turnout threshold isn’t met.


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  1. February 9, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    You’re asking the wrong question. The correct question is:

    If the first ever referendum on electoral reform in the UK is lost, what chance do we have of further reform?

    We pretty much all want STV. PReferential voting in multi member seats. But that’s not on the table. If we lose the referendum on preferential voting in single member seats, we’ll never get any further down that line. IF there eventually is reform for the Commons, odds are it’d be something else like an AMS or the terrible AV+.

    Winning AV takes us a lot closer to STV. Losing it kills STV dead. We have to win the Yes vote, not for the party, but because if we don’t, we’ll never get further reform.

  2. February 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    My way of looking at it is that if there is a yes vote, then it is likely to be a long time before there is the impetus for another reform to STV.

    But then you’re probably right Mat that if the referendum is lost, it will be read as support for the current system.

    It may well be that AV is the best we can hope for and a compromise worth making.

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