Opinion Former Article

ERS: Move to AV 'negligence' says Society

The Electoral Reform Society has reacted to news that Gordon Brown is considering a shift to the Alternative Vote (AV).

AV is not a form of proportional representation, and maintains most of the key elements of the current electoral system.

Dr Ken Ritchie, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society said:

"A straight shift to AV would be a hugely timid move, motivated more by self preservation then the need to change our politics.

"Make no mistake, the Alternative Vote is not a big reform. It most certainly is not proportional representation. Yes a few seats will be less safe, but the basic relationship between elector and elected is unchanged. If Brown made this move when he entered office it might have been viewed as welcome tinkering. But at a time when our democratic institutions are in crisis a move to AV would be nothing short of negligence"

"Last week we saw what happens when politicians are left to choose their own election system. When it came to choosing the system for Europe, Closed Party Lists won fans because they kept most of the big decisions in the hands of party bosses. AV's unrivalled popularity in the Labour cabinet should ring some very loud bells.

"People are looking for choice and accountability at elections, with a vote that might actually count. That simply won't happen with AV.

"In the last weeks we would have hoped Brown might have taken the time to consider the wishes of an irate electorate. We will see if he's spent the hours since the European Election results broke dwelling on the needs of Party."

For more on AV visit: http://electoral-reform.org.uk/article.php?id=55

Contact:
For more information contact the Electoral Reform Society on 020 7928 1622 or Ashley Dé 07968791684 or Dr Ken Ritchie on 07754 165551

About us:
The Electoral Reform Society is campaigning to change the way we choose our politicians. We believe that a fair voting system will improve our democracy, allow politicians to better represent you and help them to tackle the serious issues facing our society. Fairness, accountability and a real choice for voters should not be compromised. The Society advocates the use of the Single Transferable Vote (STV) http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/article.php?id=48 in public elections.

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