Thursday, 27 January 2011

No to AV - Clegg has stated coalitions must mean broken pledges

I have joined the No to AV campaign. I hope it is a worthwhile and enjoyable debate.

One of the principle reasons I am against is in fact the shameful disregard for democracy exhibited by Nick Clegg since the General Election when he has justified the abandonment of any (or all!) Liberal Democrat pledges on the basis that 'we are in a coalition'.

Whilst AV will not necessarily lead to coalition government, it is slightly more likely and is the thrust of the 'fair votes' campaign. Fair votes is meaningless if it only leads to dishonest pledges, and his has done - and proudly advertised so by Clegg when lining up excuses for a serious of wonky u-turns.

The pro AV campaign have begun engaging in skull duggery already with a leaflet that was shoved under the office door of Labour members this week.
It falsely claims that under the AV system every MP will have the support of more than half their constituents.
This is simply not the truth. The Electoral Commission have said, "voters don't (and probably won't) rank all of the candidates and an election can be won under the 'alternative vote' system with less than half the total votes cast”.

Many voters will choose to only vote once, plumping for their first choice as they do in Australia, where 60% vote only once when given the option. Consequently the winning candidate will achieve less than 50% of the votes cast after the losing candidates’ votes have been "exhausted".

Professors Rallings and Thrasher have estimated that more than 4 out of 10 AV races will finish with the winner getting less than 50%, and more than 3 in 10 already finish with the winner receiving more than 50% - AV will make little difference.

There is no doubt about it - it is a deceit to claim otherwise. I challenge the YES campaign to tell the truth, withdraw this false claim and be clear that MPs do not have to achieve 50% of the votes cast in their constituencies under the system of AV as proposed.