Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Its time to vote, but for what?

OK for those of you that don't know, over here in merry old England, we are getting over our excitement from the Royal Wedding (because I was really overjoyed to watch 2 people I don't know, don't care, and borderline don't like, get married, so I went and built a deck instead. Take that you royalists, I chose manual labour over your wedding!) to get to the serious and sobering business of an election.
A very serious election, its a local election (which if the past is anything to go by nobody is that interested), but it is also one of our most important referendums in recent years, possibly ever. To vote to change our entire voting system.
So what way am I going to vote on this monumental and historical day? I haven't a clue.

As I understand it in AV (the new system), you number your vote in order of preference. (The best being number 1, the next number 2 etc.) whereas at the moment we have first past the post. (The person with the most votes wins)
Now the first argument I heard for AV was "We have to change it because if not we will never have the chance again." I, in fact, was invited to a facebook event to vote Yes for AV and it started with this, in the words of Michael Cole, and I quote (a little wrestling joke for those that way inclined) "Chances to modernise our voting system won't come along very often. I actually believe if we vote no we will be stuck with first past the post for the entirety of our lives."
Now I totally disagreed with this. It is all very well having the chance to change something, I was also excited about the chance to change politics forever, but it has to be the right change, not change for the sake of change. Anyway what if I didn't mind being 'stuck' with the first past the post for the entirety of my life, thats a big assumption.
Now the positives of AV for me is that it offers more of a compromise, especially for people like me who are forever undecided. Also, as was raised to me today, it may force people to look at policies more and will prevent parties getting in on single policies (like the BNP). Also I suppose its a fairer reflection of what everyone wants.
My mate describes it like this. Take the Premiership, you want your team to win, and providing you not a glory hunting scum bag, your team isn't going to win, now who would you then want to win? If everyone did that you would get a fair representation of who the most popular. So it is basically saying the one the people are most happy with is better than the one that the most people want but the rest don't want.
The first argument I heard against AV was "It's too hard for people to understand!" Well thanks for insulting me! I will determine if it is too hard by having it explained to me, when it was explained, I got it. So it wasn't too hard! so that is 1-1 in the lazy argument stakes!
One thing for me that puts me off a tad is that smaller parties are going to struggle to get into parliament more with AV than with first past the post, is it fair that? However, people seem happy with the 'Big 3' so they may not get a look in anyway, but should they still have the chance to?
While I am on, I feel, that the media coverage and the campaigns on this has been terrible, it has caused a debate which should have been on the tips of the tongues of people all over the country, to be cast away as drab and boring, almost as if politicians want the whole thing to go away.
Anyway so here is where I am on the proverbial tightrope umming and ahhing over whether to cross. I honestly don't think I will decide until I get down tomorrow morning. One thing I know for certain, I will be voting and thats the most important thing. What I vote for is probably of no consequence anyway because after all I am an ignorant, irrelevant, ill-informed idiot.

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