Thursday, May 05, 2011

Yes to AV

In New Zealand, we have it pretty good, democratically speaking. A fair electoral system which ensures that political representation reflects popular support. And as a result, a Parliament which looks like New Zealand, enacting policies which have true majority support, and which is properly accountable to the people.

Compare this with the UK: an unfair electoral system which manufactures artificial majorities, a Parliament which does not look like the UK, where women and ethnic minorities are under-represented, enacting policies supported by only a minority of the population (and sometimes only by Rupert Murdoch). With a "democracy" like this, its no bloody wonder many in the UK don't vote - they have nothing to vote for.

But today, they have a small change to change all this. Today, the UK gets to vote in a referendum on the Alternative Vote. I've commented before that the Alternative Vote is the electoral reform you have when you don't want electoral reform; what the UK needs is NZ-style MMP, which ensures a properly proportional result. But at the same time, AV is an improvement, which will make a difference. Not a huge one, but it will be a small step in the right direction, which will hopefully lead to more reform later. And it will mean that every MP will enjoy majority support, rather than a bare plurality as at present.

So, if you live in the UK, please vote today, and vote for change. Because the UK's present system is nothing less than a mockery of democracy. If you want real power and influence over your government, or at least more than you have at present; if you want to hurt the fuckers who ignore you while purporting to represent you, then vote for AV.