The expenses scandal is why Fenland should support the Alternative Vote

DUCK houses, moats and videos so naughty Fiona Bruce couldn’t even read out their titles on the Ten O’clock News.

The expenses scandal is not the legacy of any political party, it is the product of our voting system. And the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign says that it is time for a change.

But, surely, in turbulent economic times the last thing we need is more upheaval?

On Thursday May 5, we the British electorate have the chance to quietly, and without fanfare (as is the British way), upgrade our voting system. On Thursday May 5, 2011 there will be a referendum on our voting system. We the people will decide how they the politicians get their jobs.

The choice on offer will be between the way things are and the fairer Alternative Vote (AV).

First Past the Post worked once, when 9 in every 10 votes cast were for one of two parties. But things are different now, we are different now. And AV is the upgrade we are looking for.

Bits of the current system are still good. AV retains the constituency link. It strengthens this link by ensuring that every MP secures 50% of the vote.

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No one gets an extra vote; no one gets a wasted vote. Everyone’s vote goes further.

AV is a preferential system. Instead of putting an ‘X’, we can rank, in numerical order, our favourite to our least favourite candidate. Or even just our favourite, if the others are really that bad.

AV says to us Yes! You can vote with your head and your heart. You can put the candidate whom you know personally first, and the party you support nationally second; and the candidate you dislike the most can be put firmly in last place.

AV says Yes! Candidates must reach out to supporters of other parties, seeking agreement through consultation, making our politics more representative.

AV says Yes! To an upgrade of the current system that created politicians with jobs for life, who neglected voters and squandered our taxes on petty luxuries.

AV says Yes! To smaller parties that represent the blossoming diversity of our country and our own personal views. Candidates from the big parties will have to respect those from smaller parties and engage with them and their supporters.

But AV will prevent extremists like the BNP. AV insists on the winner gaining 50% of the vote. While under the current system, a candidate can win with less than a third.

AV could say Yes! To all these sensible upgrades to our system; it could say Yes! To making everyone’s vote go further. But for this to happen, we must say Yes! To AV on Thursday 5 May, 2011. For this to happen, we need your help.

For more information on the latest upgrade to our politics, visit and register to show your support.


NE Cambs Co-ordinator, Yes to Fairer Votes


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