According to The Guardian we are going to see a referendum on electoral reform in May of next year. We will be offered AV or FPTP, two inadequate systems but that’s the choice we have.
Some people are convinced that because AV is not good enough it is not worth supporting. That is nonsense. Progress is progress and a stalled process of electoral reform now is a process stalled for generations. As Ezra Klein says:
Failure does not breed success. Obama’s defeat will not mean that more ambitious reforms have “a better chance of trying again.” It will mean that less ambitious reformers have a better chance of trying next time.
Conversely, success does breed success. Medicare and Medicaid began as fairly limited programs. … As any scientist will tell you, it’s much easier to encourage something to evolve in a certain direction than it is to create it anew.
Sunny Hundal is right; AV is far from perfect as an electoral system but it is important leftist get involved and support it. The good is not an enemy of the perfect, its a stepping stone on the way.
James Graham is right; AV is not perfect but it ends perverse tactical voting by enshrining a workable version of it in the system.
Keeping FPTP would not be a chance to regroup it would be a loss of momentum. The United Kingdom doesn’t do revolutions reformers need to be patient and to work hard.
If you’re not ready to work hard for a slight improvement then politics may not be for you. It is dozens of slight improvements that got us to where we are today, and it is dozens more that will get us where we need to be.
[Pun inspired by the Hopi Sen]