Next week, the UK voting reform referendum will take place, but no-one really wants the Alternative Vote do they? Nick Clegg famously referred to it as a “miserable little compromise”. As the campaigning hots up and tempers flare we start to lose focus of the real issues.
All UK electoral reformists really want a proportional system where every vote counts; AV is just a little step in the right direction. The Green Party see AV as a step towards a proportional voting system (their preference is the Additional Member System). As do the Liberal Democrats, although their preference is Single Transferable Vote.
Currently a candidate needs 50% of votes to get elected, then only half of the MPs get to make decisions. Therefore only around 25% of the population are represented. There are some simple graphics on the (assumed) result 2010 general election run under the AV system and the proportional STV system on the Electoral Reform Society’s blog.
The question should really have been ‘would you like a proportional voting system?’, but when you see how much the Conservatives have to lose, they could never let that happen. You can also see why many Labour folk aren’t too keen on it.