I suggest a campaign about ...

Vote Yes! to Fairer Votes

It's three months until the UK's first ever referendum on electoral reform. We will finally get the chance to vote to take back some of the power that political parties have stolen from us. 38 Degrees members should be encouraged to get out and help with the campaign for a Yes vote.
Switching to the Alternative Vote system, would make MPs more accountable, requiring that they have a genuine majority to be elected. It would give everyone an equal say, as the option to specify an order of preference will mean your vote will always be counted. And it will significantly reduce the number of MPs with jobs for life, by bringing hundreds more safe seats into play.

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      • Anonymous commented  · 

        2015 election farce illustrated how bent is the 1st past the post voting system. Let us push hard for the change to a proportional representation system for voting

      • Edward Allen commented  · 

        The option does not include proportional representation so a yes vote would lock us into a system which simply puts the Liberals in a stronger position than they are now. I cannot therefore support this as it does not give democracy.

      • graham commented  · 

        fairer votes says just that FAIRER VOTES plain and simple no question
        I just wish that politions woult think like it.

      • Anglo Saxon commented  · 

        The `first past the post` bears no relationship to what the majority our English Nation either need or want. Hopefully it will give The English Democratic Party a lead. And subsequently an ENGLISH Parliament, without interference
        The Alternative Vote system is a must and will reduce the numbers of MP`s who are sitting very comfortably, doing very little at our expence

      • Barry Blatt commented  · 

        If we lose this the no creeps wil shelve serious reform for another few decades; if you really want change get of your fundament and get down to a polling booth and vote Yes!

      • James Clayton commented  · 

        It doesn't matter who you vote for, AV gives the voters more of a say and puts power back in our hands instead of the political parties. Clearly it's just a first step, but it's a once in a generation chance. Miss it now and we've lost it for decades.

      • Anglo Saxon commented  · 

        Forget about the usual three parties, the majority are in it for themselves and their perks.
        Time for a real ENGLISH PARLIAMENT, with no interference from outside

      • russell ecob commented  · 

        AV is part of the way to true proportional representation. We must change the system - and start the real debate. There are systems (e.g. mine!) which allow for proper proportional representation (proportion of votes nationally reflected truly in the proportion of MPs for a given party) with the existing constituency link and without a separate (correcting) list so don't let anyone persuade you otherwise!

      • ashley vee commented  · 

        I started telling people about the vote on May 5th where I work this morning. One of the girls stated that she didn't vote as she didn't understand it with another commenting - " wedont jut have one MP now do we? Don't we have three working together". We might just as well all give up now bothe the Yes and the No campaign when we are dealing with stuck ignorance.

      • Marion Taylor commented  · 

        As far as I can see the City of Minneapolis case in 2009 was lost because of the precedent set by US Presidential elections. US Presidents are elected in two stages; primaries and general election, and AV was viewed as amalgamating the two in one process. But US voters get to vote in the general election knowing who the two candidates are, whereas with AV we don't know what the choice of candidates will be at each stage. I am inclined to agree with the Minnesota Voters Alliance that once the polling stations close the goalposts start moving. Furthermore, in the 2000 Presential Election the Supreme Court ruled that the Florida state votes should not be recounted yet if they had Gore would've won. Court case decisions aren't without controversy.

        Under AV, I would want to hear what proportion of the winner's votes were first choices, what proportion were second choices, what proportion were third choices and so on. What if one candidate was declared the winner based to a large extent on being a huge number of people's third choice? That's not a great incentive to MPs to a good job. Plus, they don't have a clue which bits of their manifesto people liked (enough to make them their third choice) and which bits they didn't like (enough not to make them their first choice).

        Also, if the reasoning is used that AV does allow one person one vote because the votes are redistributed as the candidates are eliminated, what about the scenario in which I vote for one candidate who is eliminated in the first round. Then I don't have a vote.

        Also, if I imagine a scenario in which there are six candidates but one of them holds views I find really abhorrent, then I would rank five in order of preference and leave one blank. But another voter who did not find them abhorrent would rank all six. In order for me to compete equally with that other voter, I would need to rank all six candidates. Which means effectively voting for all six candidates, including the one whose views I find really abhorrent.

      • James Clayton commented  · 

        In America they tried to argue that AV did away with one person one vote, and they lost in court! AV preserves everything that is good about the current system, whilst making sure that everyone's vote really counts. Britian hasn't had a government that the majority chose for more than 50 years, and it's time that changed.

        This isn't a distraction tactic. It's a step toward greater democracy, that progressives have fought long and hard for for 100 years. It could be the one good thing we get out of this government. Don't waste it now.

      • Marion Taylor commented  · 

        I'm going to vote 'no' to AV because it is undemocratic.
        I believe in one person one vote. With AV, some people get one vote, some people get two votes, some people get three votes, and so on.

        I think it's better to have a government that I don't like, that the majority chose, than a government with a vague mandate based on people's 2nd and 3rd choices.

        I suspect that this referendum is a distraction technique to take attention away from budget cuts and NHS reform.

      • martin commented  · 

        Im afraid I have to agree with Jamie on the issue of accountability. I believe that far too much importance is being placed on electoral reform which is proving to be a distraction from the real issues surrounding our royal and ancient so called democracy. Until we replace our unelected upper chamber(h.o.l.), and our unelected head of state(monarchy) with elected alternatives,our system of government will remain out of date and out of touch,serving politicians more than the people. Republic for the public!

      • James Clayton commented  · 


        Whatever the outcome of the referendum, the LibDems will only get seats if people vote for them. Is far as I can make out, that's looking ever more unlikely.

        It is true that the research suggests the LibDems might have fared slightly better at the last election had it been conducted under AV, mostly at the expense of the Tories. It would probably have given them the ability to form a coalition with Labour, rather than forcing them to choose between what we have or a Tory minority government, and most likely a second election: http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2010/08/if-the-last-election-had-been-fought-under-av-or-in-just-600-constituencies.html

        The poor polling and scandalously bad campaigning of the No side is finally forcing Tory MPs to face up to the prospect of losing the referendum, and they don't like what they see. More and more are suggesting that a Yes vote will end David Cameron's premiership, and bring down the coalition: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/av-yes-will-hurt-coalition-says-tory-minister-1.1088869?localLinksEnabled=false

        And if, as you say, AV will make MPs in safe seats more unsure of the future of their jobs, well, that in itself sounds like a good enough reason to vote Yes!

      • jamie knights commented  · 


        AV is not a major improvement on FPTP.

        It recycles a few more seats to the mendacious Lib Dems (which I fundamentally oppose after the way they've behaved) but it doesn't add significantly to the accountability of MPs.

        With AV the outcome is simply too uncertain for MPs in safe seats to understand what new behaviours they should adopt to avoid losing due to second preferences reassinged under AV.

      • dave oderick commented  · 

        if you do not vote for the av all you will get is more of the same old liblabcons, at least this way if we can get a few independant mp,s who are not tied to any party we might see some sort of sense in parliment
        as this liblabcon do not listen to the people and never will

      • James Clayton commented  · 

        Jamie, I don't understand how you think voting against improved democracy will help 38 degrees campaigns. The only thing we can be sure of after a "no" vote is that David Cameron would say it shows British people are in favour of FPTP. Ed Miliband is against PR, and himself wrote the last Labour manifesto that advocated AV. He's not going to give us another chance if we block it now.

        The way we hold governments to account is by voting out MPs who break their promises in general elections. A yes vote on May 5th will strengthen our power to do that.

      • jamie knights commented  · 


        I agree with voting reform. I want full PR.

        But now is not the time as a No to AV result is the ONLY chance we've got to avoid all the horrid things everyone else on 38degrees is campaigning for.

        Voting reform will be in the labour manifesto so bring down the coalition now and get a vote on full PR later!

      • CornwallNews commented  · 

        Unfortunately, very fine team at 38Degrees, on this occasion your attention is off target. What you should be campaigning for is for genuine 'One Person-One Vote' Democracy in the UK prior to any referendum on any issue (and before too many elections at any level take place either!)
        To quote from http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2011/02/second_home_voters_-_dont_hold.html :

        'To sum up:


        With our compliments
        The Editors

      • Sean commented  · 

        Jamie, I associate Edwin Starr with the song 'SOS'', which is what we need to think about in terms of voting 'YES' now that the No2AV have started to unleash their falsehoods which are, worryingly, beginning to take hold with the public.

        I would have thought you would have welcomed this chance of an admittedly small step in ensuring we won't have to endure the kind of policies you call "fascist", many of which the Tories are, at present, unable to implement.
        My one regret about the use of AV so far is that this majoritarian system has favoured Ed Miliband over his brother, whose election would currently be giving Labour a 10+ point lead and an agenda of reform which would both terrify the Conservatives whilst giving the Lib Dems a bit more backbone.

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