Ed is due to address a Labour “Yes” rally today, giving his first major speech on AV. He will stress that “the time is ripe for change”.
This is indeed true. First past the post effectively disenfranchises huge numbers of people. In a general election if you do not live in a seat which may change party, you’re vote is essentially worthless. It’s because of this that people try and vote tactically. The best that can be said for this is that it’s a hit and miss method of choosing your MP and doesn’t really work as a large number of people are required to vote tactically for it to have any discernible effect.
AV, however, would allow voters to rank candidates with preferences being transferred until one candidate receives over half the votes cast. Since this was the system used to elect Ed Miliband as Labour’s leader, I would have thought Labour Party members would be used to it and agree that it is, in fact, much fairer than the current majoritarian method used for the House of Commons.
Ed will today also urge Labour supporters to ignore the temptation to vote “no” in order to damage Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, saying, “We can’t reduce the second referendum in British political history to the betrayal of one man. I supported the inclusion of an AV referendum in our manifesto. If it was right then, it is right now.”
Labour Party members should back our Leader on AV and campaign for a yes vote. We are the only country in the EU which elects its national parliament by first past the post. It’s high time Britain moved into the modern world.