A British-American bluestocking living in the UK writes about politics, pop culture, and emerging new paradigms as they unfold on both sides of the Atlantic. (New content.)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The AV Vote And Why I Don't Give a Whit

Last week, the Conservative Party was cheering. They had managed to secure the "first-past-the-post" voting method as opposed to the new proposed "alternative vote" method. The "first-past-the-post" method is the one that is employed currently. Person with the most votes....wins the election. Rather simple.

The alternative vote method? You rank the candidates in order of your preference. You don't even have to rank every candidate. As long as you rank 1, your vote will be counted. Round one: The number one votes for each candidate are put into a pile and counted. If a candidate receives more than half the number 1 votes cast, they win and there is no further counting. If no candidate receives more than half the number 1 votes there would be at least one more round of counting. Round Two: The candidate with the lowest votes is is removed from the contest. Then, the votes of that candidate are distributed among the other candidates (For example: Mr Smith is out of the race, but his ballot has Miss Mack as a number 2 choice so that would go into the pile of Miss Mack's votes.)  This continues with the candidate with lowest votes being eliminated and the rest of the votes distributed to the number 2 choice until all the counting is down. (Whew...did you get that? I don't blame you.) It's not just complicated, it often leads to someone other than the popular candidate winning because all the other votes are pooled and distributed.

When the "first-past-the-post" vote method was secured on Thursday, the Conservatives were as jubilant as if they had won the national lottery (and given the right not to never have to itemize their expenses again.)  What on earth were they celebrating? Does it matter how we vote if our votes as British citizens don't really count anymore?  Does it matter when we are simply a puppet government under the dancing fingers of the EU?  Will anyone ever allow us to contest the abdication of our rights in this slow-moving train into the abyss of a dictatorship?

What is our Parliament except an empty hall where actors pretend to pass laws and get paid handsomely for doing so? Scotland is busy celebrating the fact that it will now be able to have a "referendum" to become "independent of Great Britain". Oh, hooray, Scotland!  That's like divorcing your first husband because he never allows you to have a voice in your marriage and crossing the street to marry another one who will keep you locked in a basement. That the fierce freedom-loving Scots are allowing this is beyond imagination.

What victory was it with this vote? Nick Clegg was "humiliated", the Lib Dems took a "beating", and are running back to Labour.

We were all humiliated. We all have taken a beating. We all need to decide to fight for the real referendum...that of freeing all of us from the tentacles of the European Union. Now, that will be a vote worth cheering about.

And so, Mr. Cameron, we expect you to hold to your promise...that of a referendum on the EU.

But I tell you what...I won't hold my breath.