Remember that moment in 2004 when it became apparent that George W. Bush was going to defeat John Kerry and be re-elected President? Remember that “What The **** Are They Thinking?” moment? That’ll be how I feel if Britain votes to keep First Past The Post. Not anger, because it is not, after all, my country, and referendums have a tendency to throw up answers you don’t like. But just jaw-dropping mouth open disbelief.
See, AV isn’t perfect. I get that. But it is better than First Past The Post. But that’s not even the bit that would annoy me, because FPTP has its strengths and I accept that some people put more importance on some aspects of a voting system than others. Fair enough.
No, what would make me gnash my teeth will be if people vote No because of the ridiculous reasons put forward by some on the No side. The voting machines, the “complexity”, the “extra” votes for small parties, all that nonsense. If the British people vote No to AV because of that stuff, stuff that deep down No people in Labour and the Conservatives, who use forms of AV internally in their respective parties, know to be just plain untrue, well, that would be nothing short of heart-breaking.
A No vote is where the British people are convinced by professional politicians to vote against themselves. AV gives individual voters more power over politicians. FPTP restricts those same voters.