AV or No AV? … It’s a question asked to us all

I don’t understand how some people are totally uninterested in politics , have no opinion and , worst of all, don’t vote. How can you not care about the future of our country? How can you really not want to have your say about how our country is run?

Politics has once again risen up the news agenda in the UK with the Alternative Vote Referendum taking place on the 5th of May, eligible voters will have to decide whether or not to accept the different voting system. Currently, in the UK, we elect politicians via the ‘first past the post system’. This system involves the party who is first to pass a certain number of seats in parliament, can form a government. Each voter is allowed to vote for one candidate.

During the 2010 General Election, while forming the Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition government, the Liberal Democrats wanted to put the voting system to a referendum. This has led to the public deciding the fate of future elections.

But what does AV mean?

The Alternative Voting system requires voters to rank their choices in order of preference, with their vote initially going to that candidate. Should no party receive fifty percent of the first vote, the party with the lowest votes is then eliminated and the votes of those people are redistributed to their second choice. This process continues untill a party reaches fifty percent of the vote.

The change to AV is backed by the Liberal Democrats and Labour, whereas the Conservative party are against the change to AV. This shows a considerable split in the coalition government, taking opposite views on the voting system.

Will AV be taken in on May 5th?

That is for you, the general public to decide. Recent polls have suggested that AV will not get voted in by this referendum, with 43% of people suggesting they will vote no.

AV has caused a lot of debate across the media, with Prime Minister David Cameron promising that, whatever the outcome, the coalition government will continue to work to their plans to attempt to fix our economic troubles.

Would a change to AV benefit us? AV is supposedly a fairer system that First Past the Post.

However, The Sunday Telegraph comment editor, Robert Colvile, believes that AV is not actually a fairer system. He says “First past the post isn’t perfect, by any means – but claiming that AV is any fairer is an argument that just doesn’t wash.”

The referendum has sparked, and will continue to spark, much debate across the media. I know how I’m going to vote. Make sure you fully research both sides of the argument before making up your mind. Vote based on your opinion and research… Make your vote count.

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