April 24th, 2011

panda!cake

UK politics: please consider voting YES on Thursday 5th May

In the UK, a referendum is being held on Thursday 5th May, at the same time as council elections in some parts of the country, on potential reform to the way MPs at Westminster are being elected. Only one alternative to the current "first past the post" system is being offered, the Alternative Vote. If you can vote in the election, particularly if you were neutral on the topic, please consider voting YES on Thursday 5th May for change.

All voting systems have their flaws. The Alternative Vote, while far from my favourite voting system, has flaws that are considerably more to my taste than the system we have at the moment. At heart, it attempts to reflect that people can, and do, like more than one option in a list, and really do have degrees of preference. Life is based on grey scales rather than absolute black-and-white decisions; so should be our politics.

If you like exactly one political party and dislike all other parties equally, the current system is fine. If you recognise that all candidates - and all parties - have pros and cons to differing extents, the proposed AV system is better. If you want to be able to express a preference for your favourite party above all others, but also express a preference for your second least favourite party over your least favourite party, by far the best way to make the change happen is to vote YES on Thursday 5th May. Please take the time and effort to go out and do so.

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