Wednesday, 20 April 2011

First Past the Post

Tuesday 19th April

While out on the doorsteps this week, the subject on a majority of voter's lips was the 'Voting Referendum' rather than any pressing local issues. Seemingly, there is a great deal of confusion regards the referendum and the controversy surrounding each choice.

Herewith the BBC explanation of the issues:

The Party take on it is to vote 'No' to AV. Personally, I'm accord with that stance, although for slightly different reasons. And this is basically because what is proposed is in my opinion a compromise arrangement rather than any kind of overhaul. AV as proposed remains a 'majoritarian' voting system - i.e. Candidates are still required to secure a majority of the votes cast whether they are first, second, third or fourth choices.

Frankly, unless the voting system is going to be radically changed - and by that I mean that every taxpayer in the land gets one vote in a PR system - then there's really no point in changing our current system. As proposed, the AV system does nothing to address the concerns of the existing 'First Past the Post' system, but certainly adds further complications.

This is the main problem with the proposed system in that the second, third, fourth choices of voters who supported eliminated candidates are counted, so giving an unequal treatment to the total number of votes cast. As proposed it is entirely likely that the leading candidate from the first preference votes will be at a significant disadvantage: their supporters will not have their subsequent preferences considered, while other non-first choice candidates will have.

But there's another reason that I abhor this compromise arrangement: it was an AV system that allowed Ed Miliband to take the leadership of the Labour party, now providing a woeful opposition at Westminster.

And that's reason enough for me.

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