Actually it is quite surprising I’m bothering to vote again. Anyway, politics-based waffle follows. It will be half-baked and it will be misinformed. You have been warned.
Tomorrow is another one of those voting days, but this one is different. Yes, there are local elections, but seeing as the local literature I’ve had through has been something from the Tories (ceremonially burned) and a letter from two Lib Dem chumps that seemed to have been printed at a skewed angle I’m probably going to not care much about that and put my cross in the box of Anyone Who Isn’t A Conservative.
The more interesting part is obviously this being the first referendum we’ve been deemed worthy of in about 30 years. I shaln’t bore you with the details because that would be patronising*. Safe to say if enough people vote yes it could make a not-that-insignificant change to the way politics are done in our shit nation.
Regardless of your ideologies, surely that’s a good thing? Anything’s better than what we have now. It seems to me the main reason people don’t want a yes vote is because it will change things. Wasn’t that Davey Boy Cameron’s main (stolen) catchphrase for his election (that he didn’t win)? ‘Change’? Howsabout some actual change then.
I’m not stupid – I know AV isn’t a perfect system and is in many ways just as shit as first past the post. But it’s more representative of the mood – the want – of the nation. Anything more representative of what the people actually want is a good thing.
I’m not even going to go into the No To AV literature that’s been doing the rounds, mainly because it’s been done to death to a far higher standard than I ever could everywhere else on the net. Safe to say, I did a real life “LOL” when I found a No To AV leaflet addressed to me personally in the post today. Scaremongering, falsehoods, outright lies – it’s brilliant! Apparently FPTP is the best system because most countries use it. Places like Zimbabwe, Syria, North Korea and the Democratic Republic of Congo use it. Must be the best. Bahrain too.
I was thinking how to write this bit, but Wikipedia does it better:
“Wasted votes are votes cast for losing candidates or votes cast for winning candidates in excess of the number required for victory. For example, in the UK General Election of 2005, 52% of votes were cast for losing candidates and 18% were excess votes – a total of 70% wasted votes. This is perhaps the most fundamental criticism of FPTP, that a large majority of votes may play no part in determining the outcome. Alternative electoral systems attempt to ensure that almost all votes are effective in influencing the result and the number of wasted votes is consequently minimised.”
And as my workmate Jon pointed out to me – something I hadn’t even considered – if you still want to do your one vote for one person thing, you can with AV. You just put one number next to one name and leave it at that. Sorted. Job done. Everybody’s happy.
Well, ‘a bit happier than they were but still not as happy as they could be because they’re still having to bow down to the will of a bunch of overprivileged tossers in suits who are in bed with the corporations and money men of the world’.
I won’t tell you what to do. I will ask that you consider voting yes though, as it just seems like the right thing to do. But the most compelling reason of all as to why I think you should vote yes is one that was discussed earlier today at work:
The Tories do not want you to vote yes.
And if that’s not reason enough for you to vote yes with all your might, then there’s no hope for you.
*This means ‘talking down to you’**
**Stolen from The League Of Gentlemen.