Posted in Politics

4 reasons why every “democratic” politician should vote Yes to AV

4 reasons why every “democratic” politician should vote Yes to AV Posted on 20 April 2011Leave a comment

A picture of a whistling thorn tree

There are many articles on why people think they should support AV. These have rigorous political analysis, going into the depth of the consequences, and whether these would affect their political preferences.

But let’s look at the facts. What is the “alternative vote” system, and what would it actually mean?

  1. On an individual level, it means people have the right to choose what party they would like to see in government in order of their preference. This process means that a voter can vote for the parties that truly represent their political beliefs without making tactical decisions. In other words, the process is about the democratisation of the individual.
  2. On a party-political level, it means that parties will be forced to discuss policy rather than be voted for simply to “keep another party out”. Why? Because that means that people are forced to make informed decisions on who to vote for rather that accepting that only one person could keep another person from the other party out.  In other words, it is about the development of diverse political theory, building a more democratically responsible government.
  3. On a democratic interaction level,  increased votes in a smaller party on a similar platform may force a larger party (or local politician) to bring its policies closer to that small party (e.g. increased #1 Green votes may push Labour to vote more to the left to win back supporters). Altogether, this process will help parties work more closely together in developing a government, increasing an individual vote’s power in government processes.
  4. For smaller or newer parties, it will give them an equal platform to voice difference of opinion as they can still win first or second preferences, showing that the mainstream of politics is not always what the mainstream populace want. It will also increase the opportunity for poorer small parties not to be financed out of an election by allowing them to gain 5% of each vote based on choice, not what is tactical. Altogether, it offers a repositioning of the political “centre” to that of the majority and allows political diversity to be financially possible for all.

Without rigorous analysis, these are simple principles that mean that AV should be adopted by any politician who says that he/she supports democracy (regardless of party).

That is why I will vote Yes for AV on 5th May. For the sake of political principle.

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