Politics is about power. “Democracy” loosely refers to citizens having a stake in who gets to excercise that power. The electoral system is but one aspect of democracy which is but one aspect of politics in this country. I don’t think first past the post is a good electoral system in a triparty system like the UK currently has. I don’t think AV is much better, but I do think it is a bit better, but not as good as STV.
Under STV, I imagine, there would be more political parties and my favourite fluffy lefties would get together with my adorable tolerant liberals and all would have ponies, a land value tax, a citizens basic income, nominal GDP targeting, and worker managed firms.
However, the more I realise how politics actually works in the long run, the less I think electoral systems are the way to make the above happen. Electoral systems seem to allow us to choose between elites, and no system removes that element from liberal democracy. The zeitgeist that ushers in or follows an election seems far more important, and far easier to affect, than the result of that election.
If I want things I like to happen, I have to convince others that they are good things to happen. The right electoral system might merely bring these good ideas forward a decade or so. So the marginal effects are pretty slim.
Given that I think Duncan is correct and the Tories are driving the economy into the floor and I think Sunny is correct and the Tories are not “listening” but are “pressign ahead” with really really stupid top down reform of the NHS doing everything I can to wreck the coalition should be number one priority.
If there is a chance a “No” vote in this referendum could force the Lib Dems out of coalition I should seriously consider focussing on stopping AV, and possibly forcing an election where something important might change.