Voting for the alternative

I'm not a political person. I have opinions on our current government and I don't mind voicing them to anyone that'll listen, but I'm not really a politico. I point this out because the voting system referendum is coming soon, and, honestly, I really have no clue as to which way to vote.

I know next to nothing about how the alternative vote system works, other than what I've read in the, frankly, quite patronising booklet that's being delivered to homes around the UK, so I could well be talking out of my backside here. But... On the one hand, AV seems like a good, small step toward a real proportional representation voting system, which the Lib Dems promised as part of their election manifesto (they promised a lot, if memory serves, and haven't really delivered...any of it). AV could be the leverage they need to push for that full PR system, and possibly make MPs actually work for you and your vote. On the other hand, it looks like an overly complicated process that'll probably turn a lot of people off the idea, myself included. Having just seen the "Vote No" TV advert (as well as catching some of Call-Me-Dave on the news earlier), it looks more and more like AV will lose simply due to fact that the No campaigners are making it look like AV has an overly complex system behind it.

So I'm left wondering: is it worth it? Now before everyone jumps on me and tells me that my vote is important, I want to point out this section from the booklet that's been floating around:

If more people vote 'yes' than 'no', when will we start using the 'alternative vote' system?

The 'alternative vote' system will used after a review of the boundaries of the area that each MP represents (known as their constituency) is completed. This is due to happen regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

At the end of the review, the UK Parliament will vote on implementing the new boundaries. If the new boundaries are implemented, the 'alternative vote' system will be used for all future elections to the House of Commons.

Reading that last paragraph again, it seems to be saying that if the AV system is chosen, it may never actually be implemented, rendering the referendum a complete waste of time. And we, the people of the UK, won't get what we voted for. Again.

And MPs wonder why no one's interested in politics any more...

So, really, is it worth my time voting on this? And if I do vote, which way do I vote? Neither campaign is winning me over, to be honest. Well, I say "neither" but I've only seen the ads for the "no campaign" so far. Hopefully, that'll change before the election and I can make a more informed decision after hearing the other side of the argument. If I get to hear the other side, of course. With Cameron actively campaigning against the change as he runs around the country assuring us that everything was the fault of the previous government doing whatever it is he does to do to earn his pay, it seems more likely that the "Yes campaign" will get drowned out. But hopefully it won't. We'll see.

But, I think there's one thing we can all agree on:

Original image by B3ta.com board member williamdilkes

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