It has been a most odd election campaign, not many people are talking about the UK referendum on the voting system and turnout isn’t looking promising at the moment.
Both sides don’t seem to have a clear idea on why their method is the best one. “No” campaigners seem to be defending the status quo and “Yes” campaigners don’t have any real data or indeed even made up data with a convincing analysis to back up their claims. I have to admit that I have actually experienced alternative voting more than first past the post system while I was at university as a student so I am more familiar with it. At different times I was involved in voting for these elections, running in elections and counting votes as well.
If you vote your preferred candidate as 1 and leave all the other options blank you still use the first past the post system anyway. If you decide that you want extra preferences than at least with the Alternative vote you will now have that option. Will that make a big difference to the overall result? Hard to tell, but it seems to be fairer in cases where candidates are quite close together in polls. Also you hear the undecided voters before the elections saying something like.. “Both parties are just as bad as each other and voting for another party is a waste anyway as they would never have a shot at it”. Well with the Alternative vote you can decide in order of ranking which parties candidates you prefer.
I am going for the Alternative vote as it gives more options to the voter in case candidates are closer together in the polls. If they win over 50% of the votes it doesn’t matter anyway under either system. The actual impact of this system is pretty hard to predict and the tactics that parties would employ to their advantage can’t be known in advance either. So this does make it a pretty tricky vote and it just boils down to opinion anyway. The chance to modify the electoral system is pretty rare and I am going to have a shot at it by saying yes. Hopefully this can be a stepping stone to true proportional representation.