No scaremongering in AV campaign

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I find Clive Bishop’s description of the NO campaign in the AV referendum as being ‘scaremongering’ totally wrong.

I would prefer to use the word ‘truthful’. The case for voting no did not require a great deal of proof because virtually all the voters were fully aware of what the ‘First past the post’ (FPTP) system meant.

The distinct disadvantages of AV had to be pointed out.

The fact that one party scoring 53 per cent of the vote received 71 per cent of the seats is greatly to FPTP’s advantage because it clearly means that control rests with the party that most voters wanted.

Any system moving toward proportional representation requires an amalgam of policies of other parties and leads to acrimony as we have observed at national level in recent months.

Even FPTP can throw up situations such as we now have in central government, notwithstanding that the majority of voters wanted the Conservatives to be in power, but such anomalies have been very rare.

In the local scene about which Mr Bishop has misgivings, every voter had one vote and it was counted.

Many of us had to be on what may be perceived as the losing side.

To have used AV would have meant that some people’s vote would have been ultimately used to support a party which the voter didn’t really want to be elected - otherwise he or she would have voted for it.

If that had led to no party having an overall majority some purported entente would have had to be engineered at no benefit to anyone.

The worst form of control might emerge causing political disruption and dissent.

Mr Bishop describes FPTP as unfair but there is no word more difficult to define politically than that adjective as hardly two people would agree as what in a national or regional context fairness actually means.

But that’s a much wider subject, not for discussion here.

Clive Mackie

Ashes Lodge, Netherfield