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Brendan O'Neill on why you should vote no to AV

If you think politics should be about passion and principle - about having something to say and more importantly having the guts to say it - then go out and vote NO to AV.

Of course, none of us asked for this referendum on the alternative vote.

There were no mass gatherings in Hyde Park. No one chained themselves to railings or threw themselves in front of the Queen’s horse for the Right To Divide My Vote Between Four Or Five Candidates.

Instead, the referendum is a product of elite deal-making between David Cameron and Nick Clegg as they forged their coalition government last year.

But now that we’ve been landed with a referendum for an electoral system that a majority of the public are savagely uninterested in, it’s paramount that we vote NO to AV.

Because AV would accentuate some of the most degenerate trends in politics today.

Through its invitation to voters to express their views about all candidates, it would turn voting from an impassioned statement of political desire or attachment to an ideal into a relativistic process of erming and ahhing.

And by making aspiring politicians potentially reliant on second- and third-preference votes, it would nurture even more public figures who refuse to say anything surprising or provocative for fear of alienating their kind-of constituencies.

In short, AV would water down the act of voting and reduce risk-taking and ideas-making in mainstream British politics - a trend that is already underway but which would effectively be institutionalised under AV.

So go out and say NO.

For more, read Frank Furedi on the principled case against AV:
The democratic case against alternative voting

And check out my editorial on how AV would degrade political debate:
The real reason you should say no to AV


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