NOtoAV Campaign

On 5 May, there will be a UK Referendum on whether to change our voting system to the alternative vote. I for one will be voting No to AV.

It is not possible to analyse all the reasons that have led me to this position here. However, I want to draw attention to one particular side of the argument against the alternative vote that has a particular resonance for the West End.

West End is the home to London’s main gay village around Old Compton Street in Soho. There are many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual residents here and dozens of businesses that thrive on the ‘pink pound’.

If AV prevails the door will be opened to parties whose views include intolerance to communities such as that which exist in the heart of the West End.

This is because AV undermines the fundamental principle of One Person, One Vote, and rewards people who vote for fringe candidates by making them the first to get another vote counted.

In some seats, BNP supporters could get at least six chances to have their vote counted, while mainstream voters would only get their vote counted once. Because the other parties would need extra votes in later rounds of counting, they would have an incentive to pander to the extremists to try and win their second preferences.

My greatest concern is that if AV prevails it would allow extremist political parties such as the BNP to get a foothold in mainstream national politics.  While we hope that AV would not lead to extremist parties winning seats, it would certainly give them more influence.

I will not support a voting system that will benefit parties who want to create a climate of hatred and fear in this community.

One vote is enough for everyone – that is the foundation stone of our tried and tested democracy. This is why I will be joining thousands of activists across the country this weekend in a national NOtoAV action day by campaigning in Soho to make sure this wonderful, fun-loving and decent community is aware of what is at stake.

West No to AV Final 3 -

This entry was posted on Friday, 15 April 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed.