If you get the X-Factor you will get AV

Johann Hari reckons that if you can get the voting system of the X-Factor you will get AV .This is absolutely correct. The X-Factor works on a form of AV. If your favourite was voted out this week, then you are perfectly free to vote for your next favourite singer next week. If you hate all of the remaining artists you are perfectly free not to vote. The only real difference being that you can buy as many votes as you want/can afford. (I’m sure that introducing this idea into national elections has occurred to at least some members of the Tory party)

Later on in the piece he makes this comment:

All this is a shame, because there is a real criticism of AV that has gone unheard. It’s that it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Nick Clegg once called it “a miserable little compromise”, and there’s some truth in that. Sauced with plenty of irony, AV wouldn’t be my first preference.

Let me explain. In Britain today, we have a centre-left majority who want this to be a country with European-level taxes, European-standard public services and European-level equality. We have had this for a very long time. Even at the height of Thatcherism, 56 per cent of people voted for parties committed to higher taxes and higher spending. But the centre-left vote is split between several parties – while the right-wing vote clusters around the Conservatives. So under FPTP they get to rule and dominate out of all proportion to their actual support, and drag most of us in a direction we don’t want to go. That’s why the Tories are united in supporting the current system, and throwing a fortune at preventing any change.

He is completely correct, AV doesn’t go nearly far enough.Johann would have us adopt AV+ whereas I would prefer STV. But we will save our differences on that until next time.

At the moment we are both agreed that the important thing is to win the referendum on May 5th, because defeat will consign any hope of voting reform to the dustbin for a generation.

Forget about the co-option of Labour dinosaurs like John Reid and Margaret Beckett, the No to AV campaign is a Tory campaign, funded by large amounts of Tory money. The are fighting AV because the know that there is no way that they can ever command a true majority of the vote, but want to be able to rule the country with 40% or less of the electorate supporting them


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