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21 February 2011

Electoral Reform - Another Gem from the "No" Campaign

The other day Prime Minister David Cameron (who, unlike his Liberal Democrat Coalition partner and Deputy Nick Clegg, is against scrapping the "first-past-the-post" system) came out with the astonishing claim that, had last year's General Election been held under the Alternative Vote system it would have produced another five years of a Gordon Brown Labour Government!

Does Cameron have psychic powers? In order to make such a claim he would need to know what every voter's second and third (and fourth?) preferences would have been if the election had been held under the Alternative Vote system.

This is just another example of the pathetic attempts by the NO campaigners we can expect to see over the coming weeks to persuade us to hold on to a system that returns two thirds of our MPs to Parliament on less than 50% support of their constituents.

15 February 2011

Voting Reform - The NO Campaigners Show Themselves

I wondered where they were hiding, but the "NO" campaigners have come out from under their stone at last, indicating their likely tactics in persuading us to stick with the existing "First past the Post" system.

Here are their key ideas: the Alternative Vote is more complicated; the Alternative Vote is more expensive; the Alternative Vote is likely to deliver more Coalition Governments.

Notice that the words democracy and democratic don't feature in any of this. That's no surprise because there is no argument in this world that can convince any right-minded person that a system delivering Members of Parliament representing a minority of their constituents (sometimes for life) is democratic.

On the issue of other systems being more complicated, are we not sufficiently intelligent to be able to cope? How on earth do the rest of Europe manage to handle it? Leaving aside the possible fact that they have clearer heads because they don't binge-drink like the British, I still think we can summon up sufficient intellectual capacity to deal with a slightly less simple method of voting and counting.

As for the cost, well we could make the thing a whole lot cheaper by abolishing elections. (Last time I looked, that was called a Dictatorship). Come to think of it, perhaps that's why 40% of our population don't bother to vote anyway, because they do not see it delivering anything relevant to their own ideas.

The "NO" campaigners are going to have to rely entirely upon fear and negativity in order to persuade us that it is better to accept the devil we know rather than the one we don't.

They should return to the primeval swamp from whence they came, in which inertia is the best method of survival, leaving the rest of us with brains to pursue our legitimate demand for more democracy. OK, some will argue that the "Alternative Vote" is not fully democratic, but from little acorns grow mighty oak trees.

More power to the "YES" Campaign!