Posts Tagged ‘old politics’

The Old Politics case for AV

08/04/2011, 07:44:40 AM

by Atul Hatwal

What a strange situation. Secretaries of state facing-off at cabinet meetings; shadow cabinet members at loggerheads and rival gangs of activists squaring up, hoping one of the other lot will spill their pint.

Who knew electoral systems were so emotive? It’s enough to make you want to shout “leave it, Lee; it’s not worth it”.

Like many, I find myself looking on, bemused. The intensity of the debate on the referendum on the alternate vote (AV) is in equal parts bizarre and disengaging.  Babies without incubators, Nazi fellow-travellers and a rag-bag of random celebrities are all part of the carnival of the absurd wending its way across our news pages.

In terms of the actual argument underneath the artifice, the case is finely balanced.

Most people get Cameron’s Usain Bolt analogy and intuitively feel it odd that someone finishing second in a race should end up winning. But, equally they understand that voting is about building legitimacy, and for most voters, a second best choice as MP is better than someone who the majority actively opposed.

As neither side has delivered the killer blow in their initial pitch, the approach of both campaigns has been to just shout louder. A ten-pints-of-lager strategy.

So they continue to brawl, while people, who are only now just beginning to look at the issue, feel a bit like they have walked into a taxi queue at club kicking-out time in downtown Croydon on Saturday night. (more…)

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