Tuesday, February 02, 2010

You're AV-ing a laugh, Labour

AV spells added vexation for the Tories. Why should the slow, fat kid who struggles to come in second deserve a place in the line-up for the next race?

Ranking our candidates in preference rather than picking the standard winner-takes-all can bring no good to politics. It takes away the element of competition, the deserved victory of a candidate who came first in their track event.

But it wouldn't be the first time, Labour called a rain-day on real competition - the weak, shuffling-behind-in-the-polls party have bred a nation with the same contempt for winners and the successful. They want a relay where everyone gets the baton, where even the one competitor who dropped his spoon won't ever get egg on his face, but a trophy all the same.

That is what AV is like. We always hear, especially from the Lib Dums, just how great the PR systems are - how they're more representative, how it's more democratic etc. But if that were really true, why has it taken Labour over 30 years to introduce the bill? For their 18 years kicked out on the streets before they struck gold in 1997, they fought and campaigned for the PR. Yes, they did introduce it to Scotland, N Ireland, London and the European Parliament (notice a pattern there?) but why has it taken them so long to give a supposed democratic dose to Westminster ... hmm?

Would it be, rather cynically, because they were doing so well coming first and they didn't want to spoil it with getting a few extra Tories in to interrupt their bonkers bill plans?

If the Tories get in this year, AV where you rank the candidates in order of preference of what you're prepared to put up with, may be the very thing to ease Labour's return to power at the next election. Cameron's first term will be wrought with despair and making tough decisions and this plan to switch to the "all-fairer, all-loving" AV will pick up support even in places where they only voted Conservative a few years earlier.

Many of the voters, hypothetically of course, who voted Cameron would have done for the first time so they would probably cross Labour's box as their second preference. This isn't an isolated case - if the Tories achieve the 41 per cent they need, these new voters will be doing the same. You do the maths.

AV = added votes for Labour.

First past the post may be flawed but it is fair. Unfortunately there will be areas where people decide to vote in Labour in the hordes but that is their democratic right and the Labour man or woman they pick will be democratically elected. And TTG is for that.

Long live FPTP. Long live democracy


English Conservatives said...

AV is an attempt to retain the constituency link and the current bipartitite Westminster system.

If it was fairness they were after they'd just go straight for PR with all the benefits and problems that brings.

In short, it's more Brown indecision.

Brown has just been speaking about making Parliament more accountable. Hah! If he wanted to do that he'd introduce English Votes on English Laws and ban unaccountable Scottish MPs like himself from voting on English domestic matters.

Demetrius said...

Given that Parliament is now functionally dead in the water AV only serves to reinforce a dying system. As so many constituencies are artificial anyhow, any change in the electoral system needs to be far more radical.

Dean MacKinnon-Thomson said...

As a Scottish Conservative I can assure you it was AV which saved us from total and complete electoral oblivion caused by that fascist 1980s hag.

Michael said...

AV is the way local government is fixed down here in Devon, I understand. The candidates who keep their jobs are the ones who have lots of families and friends in the area. They tell them all to put their name in the second box, no matter who gets the first vote, and hey presto! They get their seat once again. An easy fix, and one not appreciated by most people.

AV is a joke. Keep FPTP and either be extremely radical and throw out all the thieves, reprobates and time-wasters in the House of Lords and return to the old collegiate jury system of hereditary peers, or throw the lot out and have a grown up elected second chamber.

Oh, and whipping should only be legal in strictly literal terms.

Tory Totty Online said...

Havent been at your place before - but what a great blog! Fantastic commentary! . . .thanks for the add to your BR, it will be dually reciprocated and I'll keep popping back :-)