Thursday, December 09, 2010

Supporting AV?

I have a dilemma. In my heart I want to be involved in the Labour Campaign for AV, but my head has some concerns which prevent me. I have listed them earlier on this blog, suffice to say that I am also concerned about how the Lib Dems and Tories would play "First and Second Preference" and that if any Labour activist in the "Yes" camp can persuade me then I shall happily help


Andrew Hickey said...

I'm not a Labour activist, but my thoughts:

On the two points you make in your earlier blog-post, supporting the Yes campaign is actually the best way to *weaken* the coalition. If AV fails to get in then the Lib Dems are, short-term, electorally doomed and will want to stay in power as long as possible. On the other hand, seeing Labour on the same side as the Lib Dems on a big issue will emphasise the very real split between the coalition parties.

As for the boundary changes, that's really a separate issue. Those have already gone through and will happen with or without a Yes vote. The choice is boundary reforms and a fairer system or boundary reforms and the same unfair system.

And as for playing first and second preferences, even were the Lib Dem and Tory leaderships to want to do that, it wouldn't happen. There are a *LOT* of areas where the Lib Dems and Tories are rivals (Devon & Cornwall, Oxford etc) and where any suggestion of a pact would be electorally devastating to both. And the Lib Dems are mostly, at least among their activists, a party of the left who are unhappy enough about being in coalition - they'll simply disobey any suggestions of a pact, were their leadership stupid enough to suggest one.

And even if the leaderships *did* suggest a pact, there's no evidence that their voters would do as they said...

Man in a Shed said...

Another non-Labour commentator I'm afraid.

The thing about AV is it will make politics less stable and also mean the electorate will be able to signal ( as they do a Euro elections ) as well as vote. The establishment may not like the signals from the people that will be given.

In the very short term AV is "The Coalition on a stick". It will make running the next general election easy for the Conservative and Lib Dem high commands.

However in the long term it will encourage more political parties. I think you could imagine all the main parties splitting.

Given the way people are managed now by party leaders this will weaken party leaders grip, and that has to be a good thing.

However the instability and frankly the injustice built into AV are bad things.

I'll be voting on what I think is right for my country, and not party. I just haven't made up my mind on what that is. I suggest you consider doing the same.

Louisa Willoughby said...

I made the decision a while back, which I may or may not stick to, which is to just vote based on what I think rather than what tactics say. So I say: vote whatever you think about AV. You can't predict what'll happen or who will use it and how, so you've just got to go for what you think is right. In my opinion.

Paul Burgin said...

Incidentally I have had a no of messages sent to me about this. I am concerned as to what it would do to the political parties, as Man in a Shed mentions. But equally I believe this offers fair results and that each seat will reflect the views of over 50% of it's constituents which is democratic.
I did worry about this being used by the coalition to smash Labour, but the electorate are more savvy than simply going with being told how to vote on their preferences and when you look at places like the South West, where Tories and Lib Dems are at each others throats, then that wouldn't work