Monday, 5 July 2010

Countdown to the vote on AV.......

This from Nick Clegg today:

"Today I announced that, for the first time, the British people will have a choice about the system they use to elect their MPs.
On May 5th 2011, there will be a referendum on whether to adopt the Alternative Vote.
The First Past The Post system hands power to the lucky few who live in marginal constituencies and sucks it away from the vast majority of us who do not. So over the next ten months the Liberal Democrats will be fighting hard, with others, for a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum. I want to sweep away the current system and replace it with the Alternative Vote.
We need you to be part of this campaign. It will not be easy. There will be many MPs who want to keep the status quo because it protects them from the need to win majority support.
But with your help we can do it. We need you to inspire, enthuse and persuade your friends, family and neighbours to come out on May 5 and cast their ballot for fairer votes."

The confirmation that the ballot will be held on 5th May will of course create the mother of all stushies shortly in Scotland. But, of course, there are other ways of looking at this. Is it instructive for the Scottish electorate to hear UK electoral reform debated during a Holyrood campaign? Yes, of course it will be, because Holyrood does not exist in a bubble, it is but one of our layers of governance, from local authorities through to European representation, these layers all interact with one another, and it is important to take in this bigger picture when voting in any oe of these elections. Also, the Holyrood elections will increase the overall turnout for the AV vote, giving Scotland a disproportionately higher say in the final outcome, whatever that might be. One thing is for sure, there will be a lot of politics being talked between now and 5th may next year, with the Liberal Democrats right in the heart of it.

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