In the British referendum on the Alternative Vote coming this Thursday, I believe that Britain should vote Yes, and here’s why:
AV gives you the choice to vote as you wish. If you want to vote for a single candidate, as you do under the current system, you can do that. Just put a “1” beside your favoured candidate, and that’s it. But the beauty of AV is that it is your choice: If you are afraid that your “1” choice won’t be elected, but want to stop some one else from getting in, then put a “2” beside your second choice, and so on.
This is the thing: It really is between you, the pencil and the ballot paper in the polling booth.
A Yes vote allows you to make that choice, to vote for the candidate you actually agree with without accidentally letting in someone you really don’t want. It puts that choice in your hands in a way First Past the Post doesn’t.
AV allows you to vote without wasting your vote.
If you are a eurosceptic, this allows you to vote for a eurosceptic candidate without splitting the eurosceptic vote.
If you’re a Labour voter in the south, this allows you to vote Labour and block Conservatives.
If you’re a Conservative voter in Scotland, this allows you to vote Conservative and block Labour.
A No vote is a vote to deny yourself that opportunity, and to retain a voting system that professional politicians want to keep because it forces voters to accept only the choices they want you to be able to make.
AV is the voting system that works the way people other than professional politicians think. It recognises that in life, people don’t make all or nothing choices, that people have second favourite beers and dishes, and beers and dishes they hate.
In short, AV lets you choose from the whole menu. Don’t throw away that choice. Vote Yes.