LETTER: We did understand what the Alternative Vote was all about

Now the change to the Alternative Vote system has been so soundly rejected, perhaps Lord Greaves (Letters, April 29th) will admit that Michael Sutcliff and three-quarters of those voting really did understand the system! Lord Greaves also found it odd that the Leader of the Conservative Party, who was elected by the AV system, should be so against it for Parliamentary elections.

What he and those supporting the “Yes” campaign seem to have forgotten is that an election for a party leader, or an officer of an association, is between candidates of the same “church” and the result of the election is based on friendships, dislikes and minor differences of opinion within the same overall philosophy and, which candidate will do the best job.

The same cannot be said of a Parliamentary election, where the candidates have philosophies and policies, which are fundamentally different and really First Past the Post is the only electoral system that has any merit.

Had AV prevailed, can Lord Greaves imagine that a Labour supporter would be prepared to mark a Conservative candidate as a second choice? Would a Liberal-Democrat support the BNP or UKIP as alternatives? Most people would find it distasteful to have their vote used to help another party win. What the supporters of AV seem to want is a winner that nobody else wants provided it is their candidate. Very strange!

I did not vote for a coalition Government, but accept it is better than no Government at all and certainly better than the “last lot”. Perhaps, Tony, you ought to reflect that your party is sharing power thanks to FPTP and be thankful because, as I see it, it would never have come about under the AV system. You should make the most of it while it lasts.


Meredith Street, Nelson