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Imagine: if AV had been in place in 1983, Michael Foot’s Labour party would probably have been driven even further into the wilderness

There will be time enough before the May 2011 referendum on our voting system to debate the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative vote (AV) and its long- term effects on British democracy. For the moment, though, the low road beckons—and party insiders are busy doing their sums. However much they deny it, what obsesses them is naked self-interest: what would AV mean for them and their party?

A good starting point is the Jenkins Commission’s report…

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