Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fairer Votes

It's refreshing to be part of a campaign that's not linked to any one specific political party, nor to a local single interest, but which spans all parties and those with no party links and which is about something as fundamental as voting reform.
This afternoon a small group gathered in Eaglescliffe to hear about the campaign across the North East region and how we can be involved.
When we were knocking on doors during the general election a number of people said that they really didn't know which way to vote - they really wanted to vote for a smaller party's policies (and in Stockton South there were plenty to choose from) but they were frightened that by doing so they would allow a victory for the big party they didn't want.  It was a genuine dilemma for a number of people and when I pointed out that it's possible to have a fairer system which would allow people to rank the candidates rather than just pick one, and have those preferences taken into account, the reaction was amazing.  I've never had anything so positively received on the doorstep! 
Next May we have the chance to change things for ever - to say Yes in a referendum and to sweep away complacency and laziness.  MPs would have to work harder - to cover all their constituency and not just those people most likely to vote for them.  It would mean that no MP could be elected on less than half the votes.  The only people to lose from a Yes vote are the lazy MPs who don't deserve to be in Westminster anyway including those who are arrogant enough to live miles from their constituency, not be available for their constituents and yet draw a full allowance and expenses for doing the job.  To my thinking, there's no reason not to vote Yes!

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