29 September 2009

AV Smoke and Mirrors

So Gordon Brown has pledged to have a referendum on voting reform if* Labour wins the next election.

But hold your horses. The voting system up for grabs would be Alternative Vote. AV is not proportional, and is not really any better than the current FPTP system.

No independent body is suggesting a change to AV, so for Brown to choose this system for a referendum is simply trying to distract the genuine debate over making the result elections properly represent the way the public voted. Indeed, UnlockDemocracy has come out firmly against:
Parliament will remain as unrepresentative – and subsequently unresponsive – as ever. There is no demand amongst the wider public for this change and it is hard to see how a referendum on the subject will actually motivate people to come out and vote.
And Channel 4 News's Gary Gibbon sees right through this ploy:
if AV (alternative voting) had been used in the 2005 general election it would have given Labour an even bigger majority – 86 seats rather than 64 on Electoral Reform Society projections
The Lib Dem spokespeople need to get out there right away and trash this gerrymandering hoax.

* That's a big if, by the way.

1 comment:

Matthew Huntbach said...

Why is this minor change to the way MPs are elected considered as needing a referendum, whereas the very major changes in local government being pushed through - essentially the abolition of voting right for elected members -have had hardly anyone noticing, let alone a referendum required?