Whether AV better or not, actual voting important thing

“Be careful what you wish for” has been quoted at me in the past, when tampering with our democracy is concerned. I remember the close run “Yes” campaign for the UK to join the European Union………I wonder how many would vote the same today?

On May 5th 2011, the UK electorate are being given the option of two options, neither of which are perfect, but if voters don’t vote, be it on this issue, in a General Election, By-Election or in Local Elections, then they can’t complain if they don’t like the outcome.

I’ve always believed in voting, even if only to spoil my ballot paper, then at least I expressed my preference for “none of the above”, but assume spoilt ballot papers at least count towards the turnout figure?

The only major drawback with the first past the post system is that General Elections in the UK are seemingly determined by small minorities in marginals, which can’t be right, but at least first past the post system appears to deliver reasonably stable government, although I’m not sure the electorate would have actually voted for the current Coalition Government as it is, as I suspect many floating voters who voted Liberal Democrat (ironic really!), would not have done so if they even thought for one minute they would do a deal with the Conservatives, plus break their clear promise not to raise Tuition fees.

The Alternative Vote System definitely in contrast will give each voter more “say”, but could lead to more minority Governments, like so many European countries seem to struggle with. At least more what individuals preferences are taken more into account with AV, but lets face it neither system is going to deliver perfection.

Personally I’m marginally for AV on balance, but think it is far more important that voters vote more than anything else, as low turnouts are not in the interests of true democracy, plus by voting we tell our elected politicians what we prefer, and to some extent what we think of them, even if it is not a lot. Whatever happens on May 5th, I just hope there is a sufficient turnout to get a determination one way or the other on AV, as it is also, in effect, a referendum on the first past the post system, and whether we want change or the status quo.


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