AV, BNP and Stephen Fry: more reasons to vote on Thursday

It is always worth remembering, people died for us to have the right to vote. So come Thursday’s referendum on the voting system, do make sure that you get out and exercise your democratic right privilege.

Our regular reader will recall that here at Inside Croydon, we are somewhat lukewarm about the attractions of the AV system, which is offered to us as an alternative to First Past The Post (FPTP).

What is persuasive has been the dissembling and downright lies which the No to AV campaign has resorted to.

Here’s our quick guide to a few facts about AV:

  • AV will not cost an additional £250 million on vote counting machines.
  • No British soldiers will be denied equipment, nor will any babies die, as a result of a Yes to AV vote.
  • AV is not “complicated”, unless you consider counting 1-2-3-4-5 “complicated” (which might say a lot about those campaigning against AV).
  • The BNP is against AV.
  • London Mayor Boris Johnson was elected using the AV system.
  • The Conservative party used AV to elect David Cameron as its leader.

If you really do need an explanation of how AV works, then take a look at this Stephen Fry video on YouTube, or visit the Yes to AV campaign site.

The sharp people at Croydon’s Future have posted a compelling local argument in favour of a better voting system. They write:

“Croydon is a classic example of how the current First Past The Post system makes a mockery of fair representation.  For Croydon South, under the First Past The Post system, this will be an ultra-safe Conservative seat until hell freezes over.  But even in this ultra-safe seat, 49 per cent of votes cast in the 2010 general election weren’t for the Conservative candidate – Richard Ottaway

“The First Past The Post system has therefore disenfranchised this very large chunk of Croydon South’s electorate.  Why even bother casting a vote in such a safe seat?  The outcome is certain. 

“A similar situation prevails in the safe Labour seat of Croydon North.  In the 2010 elections, 44 per cent of votes cast in Croydon North weren’t for the Labour candidate – Malcolm Wicks.

“The lack of representativeness of the Westminster electoral outcome becomes really apparent when you aggregate the votes cast across all three of Croydon’s parliamentary constituencies.  Labour polled 36 per cent of the vote and won one of the three available seats – which seems reasonable.  However, the Conservatives polled 39 per cent of the vote but garnered two of the three seats – which seems highly unfair.   

“Most disturbingly of all, the 25 per cent who didn’t vote either Labour or Conservative won zero seats.  This large chunk of Croydon’s electorate has been effectively dis-enfranchised.”

So, make sure that you get out and vote – and remembering how badly organised Croydon’s polling stations were last year, don’t leave it until 10pm on Thursday evening, or you risk being denied your democratic rights.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Croydon Central, Croydon North, Croydon South, Gavin Barwell, London-wide issues, Malcolm Wicks MP, Richard Ottaway MP and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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