Thursday, 28 April 2011

Vote yes for a fairer system

It is at least a year ago when I was speaking with someone from Ireland. I asked about the voting system and how they managed with STV. Isn't it difficult to cope with a numbered system rather than a cross for one candidate? The answer he gave me, of course, was that it was easy to place numbers against the candidates.

Yesterday I was again talking with someone from Ireland. She was telling me how it was important to get fair proportions of elected representatives to the votes that were cast. Religious bigotry was evident and reflected in the religious backgrounds of elected representatives. She told me about ratepayer suffrage in which you didn't get a vote if you lived in a council house. It just so happened that most people in council houses belonged to one particular religion.

She also told me that company directors had more than one vote and that there were block votes going to big businesses until the late 60s. If you thought rotten boroughs were a thing of the past then you don't have to go back too far before you find systems that are obviously wrong. A change to make the system fairer was really important. Now universal adult suffrage sounds good but Ireland needed a fair system as well - not first-past-the-post.

AV is not difficult to understand and nobody complains about one person's vote being transferred from one candidate to another. That's what happens in a system that gives fairer representation and that's the best reason to vote for AV in the referendum, because it is a fairer system.

Change the world

No comments:

Post a Comment