Thursday, April 28, 2011

Colvile's "Reasons to vote no"

"1. It makes politics mushier." Absolutely. It means that political parties can't do their own thing on the back of the vote of a minority of the popular vote. They are more likely to have to work with other parties. That sounds like a good thing to me.

"2. It's the wrong reform." Absolutely. But it's all we're likely to get - and let's face it, are either of the two large parties likely to agree to a referendum on PR? I think not.

"3. Nobody actually wants it." Er, actually this is basically the same as 2.

"4. Because the Yes campaign deserve it." Ad Hom. Grow up.

"5. It's not actually fairer." ... because smaller parties are at risk of disappearing entirely, and big swings lead to huge landslides as second preferences slide behind charismatic politicians. However, smaller parties interests are only going to be served by PR, and PR will not come about unless this is a stepping stone. And as for the other issue, if AV changes the political landscape by introducing parties permanently working together, perhaps we might be saved from the curse of charismatic leaders dragging incompetent parties with them.

"6. It's not worth it." ... it might cost more money. This point brings me closer to swearing at the Telegraph correspondent than any other. Firstly, it isn't clear how much extra it will cost, if at all. More fundamentally, if something is good in democratic terms, then you pay the money for it. Elections cost money - perhaps Colvile thinks we should scrap them too? Cost is a non-argument.

"7. It makes tactical voting worse." ... because political parties might tell you how to vote. Well, really, if the British electorate are prepared to be told how to vote by political parties, then I think we may as well scrap elections anyway.

Incidentally, we are told that Clegg is a spent force politically. Supposing there were a general election tomorrow. Are there any politicians that the electorate would be prepared to see running a government? IAMFI

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