Tag Archives: AV

Local Election results – a closer look

The Daily Telegraph rang me the other day to ask about the ‘poor showing’ of Suffolk Lib Dems in the recent local elections  –  and was disconcerted to hear that Woodbridge had actually doubled the number of Lib Dems on its Town Council.

Clearly this inconvenient fact  spoiled the reporter’s  story which appeared to want to go along the lines of Labour gains  and Lib Dem losses  –  rather than the unreflecting Conservatism which may be rather closer to the truth in Suffolk.  Indeed, I pointed out that in Suffolk there seems to be  little sense of electoral discrimination or political responsibility.

In the SCC Wilford district by-election, for example,  the  first-time Tory candidate romped home despite all the horrible actions and publicity linked to the SCC Conservative administration over the last months.

One might suppose that many people in Wilford had neither care for buses, libraries, care homes etc. or those that used them.  Or possibly were unable to see any link between these and their vote.

On the flip side I was glad to see that both Oxford and Cambridge  voted yes to AV. Maybe its true : they may be blue but maybe they actually ARE  centres of progressive thought and intellectual excellence!

Why I’m saying YES to AV

Some months back the Labour party used AV  to to elect Labour’s new leader.   We Lib Dems have used the process to elect our leaders for a while.  In Suffolk last week,  the Conservative party used AV to elect Mark Bee  as their new leader. The Oscars have moved to AV to vote for Best Film.  Colin Firth, Steven Fry, Joanna Lumley, Helena Bonham Carter,  Honor Blackman, Kriss Akabusi, Amisha Ghadiali, Eddie Izzard, Greg Dyke, Rowan Davies and Martin Bell are all saying Yes to AV.  I am supporting AV, come to that. AV is clearly seen as a fair and intelligent way of  exercising democracy- so why do we in Britain still elect our MPs with the  discredited First Past the Post system?

The answer’s simple: it’s convenient for the MPs. The First Past the Post system keeps people in power without them having to work for it. No wonder so many people in Westminster are reluctant to change!

Every  time there is an election in Britain, people notice the tiny proportion of votes that the winners have gained and comment on how unfair this is.  In 2010 most MPs were elected with less than a third of the votes. The Electoral Reform Society has been campaigning to update Britain’s undemocratic electoral system for over a hundred years – and have long argued that AV is the best system when you’re out to elect a single winner.

In May, at long, long  last we finally have the chance to scrap our broken system and replace it with a better one that will see politicians having to work harder for our votes. See the Yes to fairer votes site to see a video which shows how easy and fair the AV system really is

And remember to vote YES on May 5th

For more information see my fuller briefing on AV:  No more wasted votes? then say YES to AV