It’s not often I speak out about anything political as I rarely have views on things which are strong enough or probably educated enough for me to feel the need to do so. However, this is an issue which I do have an opinion about.
I have always voted but never voted for Labour. I do hold the belief that you should always vote with conviction and for the party you believe in, rather than following the sheep and voting for one of the two big parties to either get the current government out or stop the other lot from getting in (so called “tactical” voting).
The current voting system is perfectly fair and simple. One person gets one vote and the party which has the most votes wins. That’s pretty much it.
Lots of people seem to think that we should be adopting a much more complex method which in effect sees the voter rank the candidates in order of preference and the process takes place in rounds until the majority party has more than 50% of the share of the votes. I for one will be voting against this method for the following reasons:
- It is an expense which we don’t need – There are a few different speculated figures for this but it is thought that the poll alone will cost tens of millions to stage and then further millions should AV be adopted. At a time when cuts are being imposed and belts are being tightened, should we really be thinking about this?
- It is unfair – for arguments sake, let’s say that there were just three parties running and one gets 40% and the other two get 30% apiece. To my mind, more people wanted party number 1 to win than parties 2 or 3. Using the alternative vote method, then it is still possible for party 1 not to be elected after subsequent rounds. This just feels unfair to me.
- It is convoluted – contrary to what some bleaters on Twitter would have others believe; I do actually understand the AV system. I just think it is unnecessarily complicated. The party which you vote for should reflect your beliefs / philosophy and each of the parties are sufficiently different enough for you to align yourself to one. The winning candidate should reflect what people want rather than what people don’t want. The problem is that many people are not currently voting for the party that they really want in; often they are voting against the party that they do not want or not voting at all because they feel that it is only a two horse race. I believe that AV will only exacerbate that and not simplify it.
I am sure that this might attract comments and critics and so be it if it does. A lot of people seem to feel quite strongly about this issue to the point of being downright patronising towards those who do not want to vote yes for it. I had someone on Twitter this weekend repeatedly telling me that I don’t understand it simply because I said I felt it was too convoluted. This is the situation purely from my perspective. I do not pretend to be particularly politically minded. Maybe I have missed something, I don’t know?