It’s been nearly a year since we started campaigning for a Yes vote in the referendum on the Alternative Vote. In that time I’ve spent lots of time on the streets telling people about the advantages of the alternative voting system. I’ve also spent time on the phone. During that time I’ve been trying to work out what is different about this campaign compared to general election campaigns. We were flyering last night outside Waverely station and stopped for a bit to discuss what we doing on Thursday. We were asked which constituency were we in and therefore where we were in Edinburgh. Then it struck me what was different. We were at Waverley because it’s a good way to flyer people who live in the wider Lothian area and in this election every vote counts. In a general election it matters where your vote is cast. It matters because some constituencies are more marginal than others. Some voters have more power than others. This is the first election I can remember where every vote counted equally no matter where it was cast in the country. Every voice is equal.
Wouldn’t it be right and fair if all elections were like that? I’d like an electoral system where more votes are counted and no votes are wasted. Where how much influence you had over the result wasn’t determined by which suburb you lived in. Where more than just 1.6% of voters who live in marginal seats decided the who the government was. Well the Alternative Vote helps.
The average power of a voter is currently 0.285 under First Past the Post. This means that the average voter has just over ¼ of a vote. Using the Alternative Vote this increases by 23.5% to 0.352. This creates 44 more marginal seats. Candidates will have to aim for 50% of the vote and reach out to more voters more often. Small parties and independents will have the same fighting chance as the larger parties to appeal to voters.
The Alternative Vote is a simple and fair way to increase the power of voters in all the constituencies of the UK.