Sunday, 23 May 2010

Voting Reform

With the impending change to our voting system Alan Johnson has thrown his £0.02worth into the discussion with his article in Comment is Free, opting for Alternative Vote Plus.

It must first be asked why politicians feel they are the only people to decide what alternatives should be put to the people? It goes without saying - and cynical it may be - that politicians will opt for the system which contains an advantageous element for them. Should not the electorate be the people who choose what system they wish to be adopted - all things considered, it is the electorate that fund politicians, their expenses and lifestyles.

On that last point one wonders how many of the electorate fully understand the various systems that could be used? We all undoubtedly understand the First Past The Post (FPTP) system, but how many even know of other systems and how they work? Other than FPTP, other 'single member' systems are: the Supplementary Vote (SV) and Alternative Vote (AV). Then there are the Multi Member systems: Single Transferable Vote (STV) and Party List systems. Lastly come the Mixed Systems: Additional Member System (AMS) and Alternative Vote Plus (AV+).

Of course a change to our voting system is desirable, but then so is a change to our system of democracy. As has been posted here, under our present system of 'representative' democracy the voter is faced with an impossible choice in that he/she is asked to vote for a raft of policies, some of which may be acceptable and some not.

Call Me Dave and NickNick pontificate about a 'New Politics', yet there is nothing 'New' as such because what they propose results in the politicos still maintaining control of what are supposed to be a free people. If those two 'Honourable' men really believed that we are a free people they would provide the means whereby we may exercise that freedom; firstly by holding a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union and subsequently devolving to local people the choice of deciding the type of society in which they wished to live.

The answer to all our problems is of course contained here with these two publications.

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