This is tricky, because I consider myself quite progressive and open-minded; but as I’ve already mentioned, NO to the proposed Alternative Vote (AV) I’m afraid it is, for me.
But I do realise that in opposing something, I should also offer something better, so here it is – and it’s not First Past The Post (FPTP).
This is the comment I’ve just posted on the politics.co.uk website, where there’s an article reporting that Voting experts reject first-past-the-post:
Has anyone considered a scenario where there are as many votes as there are candidates – and individual voters can allocate weighted votes to one or more of the names on offer, up to that number?e.g. If there were five candidates, one’s chosen candidate could be allocated all five votes, or maybe three, with second choice being given the remaining two?This system would enable very party-political voters to differentiate themselves from lukewarm, indecisive voters, so no-one would have any reason to feel their vote(s) is (are) undervalued.And of course it would require only one round of counting.Just a thought… but I expect there a many objections to this, as well?
I suppose this might be termed a Weighted Vote System of electing politicians.
I disagree quite fundamentally with the view of Ian Dunt (also on politics.co.uk) that AV is for mature thinkers only, in the sense that the ‘old’ party political allegiances make us dinosaurs; they may, if thought-through, actually be the result of much soul-searching and deep experience.
Nor do I believe AV is fair to those who have actually taken the time and thought to develop a real-world understanding of the world of politics and political parties. Hence my opposition to it.
There’s a danger that, in reducing the wider perceived significance of formal politics, we may leave that very powerful influence even more unscrutinised than before.
As David Broomhead tells us in his piece in The Guardian, there is a celebrated theorem proved by Kenneth Arrow which can be stated with a shocking simplicity: “No fair voting system exists if there are three or more parties”.
Yes of course we must sometimes fight very hard for sensible and decent policies and choices by our political leaders; in all parties there is still have much to learn from so-called ‘ordinary’ people.
If you really don’t like the present political parties, you’re free in our democratic system to create another one, and see if others think you have a point. But why not, instead, try to work alongside those with reasonably similar views?
It’s not a fashionable view, and it’s often harder to do, but I taking a positionwithin the tent – whatever its political colour – is, if you’re serious about what politics does to us all, much better than, er, shouting from outside it.