Listening to some of the arguments made against the Alternative Vote in the UK is just plain baffling to Irish (and I suspect, Australian) voters. The key argument being used by the Tories is that it will result in a permanent Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition. That argument assumes that a majority of the British electorate will always vote Labour and Lib Dem, regardless of how bad the government got. They start from the position that the Tories are in-built losers who can never convince anything close to a majority of their fellow Brits that they might be worth having a go. This is the party of Churchill and Thatcher? Bunch of blouses. They would have given the Isle of White to Galtieri.
The other main argument being used is that AV allows for small parties votes to “unfairly” have two votes, proof if anything that the Tories have by far the best suppliers of psychotropic mindbending drugs. What they are saying is that if you vote Tory in Scotland, and your candidate comes third, transferring that vote to that voter’s second preference is somehow giving them an unfair advantage? Even if it means that the elected MP has more actual support in the constutuency than his/her nearest rival?
The irony of all this is that if the Lib Dems can’t get their first preferences up in enough seats to take advantage of second preferences, they’ll be wiped out. AV could turn Britain back into a two big tent party state, with the Tories hoovering up UKIP second preferences, and Labour welcoming home BNP votes.