Thursday, 5 May 2011

Vote YES to AV

Today, Thurs 5th May, there is a UK referendum to change the way people elect MPs to Parliament. It's a very simple change, it will be better than the current system, and you should vote "yes".

In a nutshell:

  • Current system First Past The Post: The candidate with the most votes wins. Simple, but this is very often with just 30-40% of the votes, meaning most people are unrepresented.

  • Proposed system Alternative Vote (AV):
    • Voters list their preferences for candidates, e.g. 1, 2, 3 etc.
    • If no candidate gets 50% of all the "1" votes, the least popular candidate is knocked out
    • Their votes are given to other candidates according to the next preference
    • A candidate wins when they have 50% or more of the votes. This way, the winning candidate has the support of more than half the people that voted. Which means the government has support of more than half of the country.
There's even a handy chart on Wikipedia that shows how straightforward it is.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to change the way Britain votes to make it fairer, more representative, and more accountable.

It is not the perfect system, but it is certainly better than the current system which favours 2 parties and encourages divisive politics.

If you can vote in the referendum, please do, and vote YES.

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