LETTER: There is nothing extreme in the AV system

What a pleasure it was to hear David Cameron on Radio 4 when he completely demolished his own arguments against the Alternative Vote system.

When campaigning for the NO vote, he says First Past the Post gives strong government and coalitions are bad. When he is trying to tell the electorate how wonderful the present coalition government is he forgets it was elected by First Past the Post. Today he was saying how great it is that the cabinet discusses each proposal and each party has to accommodate the other party’s views until a policy can be approved. Exactly.

Would we ever have had the iniquitous Poll Tax inflicted on us if Margaret Thatcher had been forced to accommodate other views instead of riding roughshod over them?

Would we have been pushed into the Iraq war if Blair had not had it all his own way?

After World War II the allies forced the Germans to adopt a proportional voting system with multiple choice voting papers. Why? Because they wanted to ensure it would be very difficult for another Hitler to gain absolute power. Ask yourselves has it done them any harm? Which is the most powerful economy in Europe?

There is nothing extreme about the AV system. It is not even proportional. It just guarantees that the elected person is the one who can command 50% of the vote. The NO camp keep making the analogy with a running race (notice it is the blue runner winning). An election should not be a race it should determine whose views are acceptable to the majority of the voters. That is, the resulting government should represent the wishes of the majority, not about 40% of them as has all too often happened in the past. Are the NO campaigners so terrified of having to prove to the majority they have the best policies or is it that they would rather be in opposition for 10 years if it gives them the chance to do just what they please next time round?

Another ridiculous argument used by the NO campaign is that voting should be One Man – One Vote. Yes, that is right, but with AV you may also say if there is another candidate you would accept as an alternative.

Don’t be fooled by the ridiculous red herrings put out by the NO campaign. Those who believe in our present system can just put a “1” against their favourite candidate and leave the rest blank. There is no compulsion to enter any more choices. Just put a “1” where you would have put your “X” under the present system.

Of course, you will be denying yourself the right to a second choice but that is up to you.

Anyone who puts down all the options obviously does not have any definite views.

GEORGE VALE

(FORMERLY OF BURNLEY)