Azara Blog: Alan Johnson has no argument for the Alternative Vote system

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Date published: 2011/03/11

The BBC says:

Alan Johnson has criticised trade unions planning to campaign against changing the UK voting system.

The former home secretary, who backs a switch to the Alternative Vote, said electoral reform was a "founding principle" of the union movement.

Reports that most union leaders would campaign to keep first-past-the-post were "depressing", he said.

Alternative Vote (AV) is a bodge created out of thin air by the LibCon coalition just to keep the LibCon coalition together. The idea that anyone should support this system just because they have supposedly supported some aspect of electoral "reform" (i.e. change) in the past is bizarre. Hopefully Alan Johnson has a real argument in support of AV and not just this pathetic complaint.

Unfortunately, the real argument of most AV supporters seems to be that although AV is not very good (and will unlikely have much of an impact at all on election results), once the voters approve this arbitrary change to the electoral system, they will presumably be open to further arbitrary changes in future, especially once they discover that AV has changed nothing.

In particular, what the Lib Dems really want is some form of Proportional Representation (PR). AV will not help the Lib Dems, and PR would, assuming they survive as a political party, that is.

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