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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      • jamie knights commented  · 

        There are some mad assertions here that the lib dems have tempered Tory policies.

        Well Apart from lying and deceiving everbody, I can't see anything positive they've done. All they've done is prop up a fascist Tory government intent on dragging us back to Victorian times. how could it possibly be any worse?

        In the words of Edwin Starr - lib dems, what are they good for? Absolutely nothing (except propping up the awful Tories)

      • jamie knights commented  · 

        Sean, a yes to AV vote guarantees four more years if Tory rule.

        Labour are eight to ten points ahead in the opinion polls, before the cuts have really started to bite.

        Vote NO to AV now and bring the coalition down. Labour/lid dems win a general election.

        Ed Milliband Is leading the yes to AV campaign and Cameron is leafing the NO campaign so if you get labour in to power you'll get another chace to reform the voting system- maybe even with proper proportional representation.

      • Sean commented  · 

        Jamie Knights' suggestion that we should vote 'No' to AV in order to precipitate a General Election would have a catastrophic outcome for the Lib Dems and, under FPTP, would return us to five years of Conservative majority rule . As he calls Nick Clegg a lying Tory it is obviously not in his interest for an election to be held under the present system.

      • CornwallNews commented  · 

        Perhaps our 'Dave' and 'Nick' will provide a suitable lead to the Middle East in the ways of better democracy by ditching their LibDemCon Coalition Elite Privilege Consolidating Banana Republic BOGUS REFERENDUM & BOGUS PVS&C BILL CONSTITUENCY BOUNDARIES.
        1.Electoral Law - NOT 'fit for purpose'.
        2.Electoral Registers - NOT 'fit for purpose'.
        3.CERO powers - NOT 'fit for purpose'.
        With our compliments.
        The Editors

      • Maurice commented  · 

        Then, whether at that election or at a later one, sometime we shall have a Tory majority government protected by FPTP just like the last one, and no change to FPTP maybe for another lifetime. That is not how we are better off. Miliband may support AV but his party is split on it so even if Labour won your imagined election with a majority they might not be able to get it through and anyway remember how Blair ratted on it after 1997.
        Come what may we are better off with the reform made than not made. Besides, once the Lib Dems cease to have to endure the pains of this government in the effort to get some reform to happen, then they are freer to become less accepting of Tory social policies, as you know they are bursting to and would have the option get rid of Clegg over unless he shifts his line on that.

      • jamie knights commented  · 

        Don't vote for AV.

        Simon Hughes says a no vote on AV is a coalition deal breaker. Vote NO and force the lidems to oust Lying Tory Nick Clegg.

        A no vote will precipitate lib dems defecting to labour, under a new leader, and precipitate a general election.

      • Marcia Simpson-James commented  · 

        I heard that Chris Huhne's 'woman' Carl Trimmingham had paid £1million towards the 'Yes' vote - is this true?

      • James Clayton commented  · 

        Jean, I would absolutely join you in a campaign for a "none of the above" option on ballot papers. This referendum, though, is simply on whether or not we think AV is a better system than FPTP. As it requires the winning candidate to get more than 50% of the valid vote, I would argue that, yes, it is.

      • Jean P commented  · 

        I should like more information about other voting systems as I don't feel the voters would ever be able to place the candidates in any sort of order in a really informed way. The pre-election canvassing is woefully inadequate and would certainly be worse if constituencies became larger to cut down the number of MPs.What I should like to see is a legal right to vote NO to all parties and for that NO vote to be COUNTED. Referendums can be pre-rigged simply by the questions and alternatives presented. There should certainly be a requirement for the winning party to have polled over 50% of the possible vote

      • Bruce Denney commented  · 

        It is a very small step in the right direction that we need to take.

        Time we had online voting and debate on everything.

        We no longer need MP's to represent us, with modern technology, we should be able to participate in and make up our own minds and vote for ourselves in our house.

      • CHOPPYZEDOFF commented  · 

        Voting yes or no will make no difference whatsoever!
        The system in only broken because it allows corrupt politicians to make a life out of stealing from the public and completely ignoring our wishes. ie, manifesto promises broken one by one. Av will have no impact other than to exlude smaller parties from ever becoming prevelant in politics.
        I want PR, (Proportional representation), or nothing! This is the only fair way to give us someone we actually want in parliament. W eshould also have it written into an unchangable law that all manifesto promises must be adhered to....unless we say so!

      • James Clayton commented  · 

        A no vote at the referendum won't bring the coalition down early. It'll simply mean we're stuck with the current broken system for another 80 years. The LibDems as a party support reform. A great many of their MPs won't especially care about the issue, especially the ones on slim majorities who stand to lose out when the voters get more power.

        Don't hand victory to Cameron so he can keep ignoring voter's wishes. Find your local Yes to Fairer Votes group, and go and volunteer.

      • jamie knights commented  · 

        I support change to the voting system but I shall be doing everything in my power to get as many people to vote NO at the referendum.

        The best hope we've got to bring down the Coalition early is a NO vote. This is the issue that the lindens cate about the most and after a no vote they will get rid of Clegg and defect to side with labour in the hope of a labour led government getting voting reform through

      • fran commented  · 

        Never be put off this right-minded electoral change by naysayers.It's true some of us would like more but you need to start somewhere. You don't get constitutional or electoral change handed to you on a plate - every right and every power granted has to be wrestled and struggled for and it all comes incrementally - those opposing this change as being "too little" are being disingenuous - nobody ever gives away power without a fight. Take what's on offer and work with it - we need to shake up democracy - and we need to start somewhere - vote for AV and ensure more democracy for our children than we have - they'll need it to get any type of social justice in a future that looks increasingly unequal

      • James Clayton commented  · 

        Bob, political reform in Britain has always come in stages. AV is the best possible voting system for our current constituency system. It keeps the current constituency link - the only good thing about First Past the Post, but also does away with the problems of split votes. It won't improve proportionality, but that will come in time if we keep pressing. Pass up on the opportunity now, and it'll be another 80 years before it's back on the agenda.

      • Bob Farquharson commented  · 

        No, No and thrice No – AV is a pig’s ear of a system. It would be far better to start a campaign to get the best possible system. Why campaign to replace one flawed arrangement with another flawed arrangement it would make more sense to campaign for more discussion on the other systems.

      • Eamon Walsh commented  · 

        AV allows every vote to count, which is crucial when you think we have one vote every five years at General Elections. Under the current system of FPTP, a small number of swing voters in about 150 marginal Constituencies, decide the outcome of the GE, but under AV 2/3 of seats about 400, become marginal, making it much harder for political parties to manipulate the result of election. AV is a huge improvement on the outdated FPTP.

      • kevin maher commented  · 

        AV is a far more democratic method than FPTP

      • Maurice commented  · 

        No, AV is far fairer than STV. The preferences will be counted in all circumstances without an immediate 50% winner, and you will have the same number of votes as there will be winners,

        STV only gives you one vote for several winners, and in fact in 2007 Scottish council elections this turned out disastrously unfair, in most seats worse than FPTP, as the parties all chose to stand single candidates (the Lib Dems sometimes 2) in seats of 3 or 4 members, and all the winners - with less than 50% votes - won on the first count on grounds of having over the fractional "quota" vote needed to win, so that the preferences were never counted at all and split votes mattered exactly like in FPTP. In fact it was FPTP, save only for you having fewer votes than the number of winners so that the parties could predetermine the result by their pact to all stand singly. When the preferences do get counted in STV, unless a system of counting in very complex fractions has been chosen there is actually a human rights violation where the physical chance of when your vote gets counted can alter how it is counted - either contributed to your top candidate's vote to reach the quota, or if s/he chances to be already over the quota, the next preference is counted.

        You don't get any of that corruptible malarky in AV. You get the preferences always counted. AV is always preferential, STV is not always, and would actually be a step backwards from AV. The best type of full PR is AV Plus.

      • Clio Byrnes commented  · 

        It may be a small change, but it really will make a difference - especially by forcing candidates to engage with everybody, not just their core vote who agree with them anyway.

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