Why the Tories should back AV

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Why the Tories should back AV

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If Cameron's Conservatives really want a Big Society, should they support the introduction of the 'alternative vote'?

The British political system is in bad shape. Mistrust of politicians is dangerously high, as Peter Kellner’s recent research shows, and voter apathy has increased dramatically over the past 20 years.

A major part of the problem is our dated electoral system. Our first past the post (FPTP) system means a candidate does not need to secure a majority of votes in their constituency, only the largest number of votes. Presently, in two thirds of seats, the MP has less than 50% of votes. No wonder people feel they are not well represented; the majority of voters did not vote for their sitting MP. Furthermore, nearly 60% of constituencies are seats which, election after election, always stay with the same party. No wonder people feel nothing changes; in many areas, it just doesn’t.

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  1. January 18, 2011

    m wood

    AV could introduce a very negative style of campaigning. Consider a close contest between two candidates with two or three others on the list. This can encourage the two leaders to negatively portray their rival with the aim of getting their supporters to rank the rival in the lowest position. We’ve already seen the negative smearing of the Labour ‘dirty tricks’ department in action. (Come back Damian McBride?)

  2. January 21, 2011

    Roger Fox

    The basic reason against any form of PR is that it produces coaltion Govts in which the tail wags the dog. This pushes up the cost of Govt (as in Europe), and creates hierarchical and centralised political parties (even more than the UK). The one way we could create a more democratic system of Govt and participation is by having a primary system for all elective offices.

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