The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same

So, the referendum results are in and I have to admit, I’m disappointed. Bitterly so.

I don’t understand how or why we got this result. How were so many people convinced by the “No” campaign? Or was it simply a case that so many people were unsure of the system that they went for the easy option?

I’ve heard lots of arguments against changing – that First Past the Post will return a majority and PR systems will not. Except at Westminster we have a coalition using FPTP and in Scotland, the PR system returned a majority government.

PR will let extremists in. Well, not if people don’t vote for them it won’t.  If you want to keep extremists out of elected positions then you must do it by speaking to the people who vote for them.  The majority of people who vot for the BNP, for example, do not do so because of the racist policies and beliefs of the BNP, but because they have concerns which are not addressed by the major parties.  You can’t fight extremism by creating or keeping inadequate systems.

The AV system is too complicated.  Really?  You can’t count to five?  All that is required of the voter is to rank the candidates in order of preference.  I like this one better than that one, so I’ll rank this one higher.  How is that difficult?  It’s not even difficult to work out who has won.  We managed it as students, to elect our student union positions.  If students can get it sorted, then I see no reason we can’t manage it for government.

Still, we’re stuck with FPTP now, for some time to come.  I suspect many people will come to regret that.

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