Monday, 2 May 2011

Why you should vote yes to AV on Thursday

Yes, I know it's far from perfect. Yes, I know it's a messy little compromise. Yes, I know it isn't really PR. Yes, I know all these things. Yes, I understand why some people of similar politics to my own are cynical about the referendum and say it doesn't really matter; I felt that way myself, at first.

But think on. Think of the odiousness, on every possible level, of all the forces behind the No campaign (including the "Blue Labour" / Daily Mail Socialist dinosaurs, who are just as worn-out and worthless as their Tory equivalents). Do you really want them to feel that they have won, to have those looks on their faces? Think of how rattled Cameron clearly is, how fearful he is, that the institutionally unfair method which has allowed divide-and-rule against the wishes of the bulk of the British population (worst of all in 1983, but that is merely the most egregious example) may be overthrown, and what that might do to all he stands for. Ignore his moans that only Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea use AV, as if the whole of the rest of Europe and much of the rest of the world which uses genuine proportional representation doesn't exist - which is, of course, what Cameron thinks anyway, or would like to think. Recognise that the big two were never going to allow the electorate to vote on genuine PR, because they know that that would destroy their fiefdoms forever and probably bring about their breakup within a few years. Realise that sometimes, however imperfect it is, you do have to take what you've been given, in the hope that it might lead to something better. Remind yourself how many times you've known instinctively, and told yourself with grim realisation, that British politics in its present form is broken. And hold your nose, and hope, and vote yes.

This really is one of those occasions where even the devil you don't know is bound to be better than the devil you do. Tell Cameron precisely what you think of his plans to divide and rule forever. Whatever you do on Thursday, vote yes to AV. You may never get another chance in your lifetimes.