I Reject Governments Without Mandate and will vote No to AV.

letter to The Independent opposing their support of AV in the forthcoming voting reform referendum:


With the possible exception of its confusion between feminism and equality, The Independent is normally spot-on when it takes a position on issues. Sadly, it is totally wrong in its support for AV.

Despite all the PR huff to the contrary, AV *will* increase the likelihood of coalition governments. Why, you may ask, is this a bad thing? Coalitions are bad because nobody votes for them. They are unelected and have no mandate for their policies. Nobody voted for the current Coalition of the Clueless, and their policies and positions have all been decided after the election behind closed doors by men in suits. This has resulted in an embarrassingly long list of u-turns, reversals and abandoned promises. Thankfully FPTP rarely produces hung parliaments.

Democracy is not improved when a flawed system where 35% of the voters elect a government gets replaced by a system where a government is elected by exactly 0% of the voters. AV is seeking to replace government by minority mandate with government by backroom committee with no mandate at all.

I would rather see a government I disapprove of but which has a 35% mandate than a government I disapprove of which has exactly 0% mandate.

The current FPTP system is flawed, by all means replace it. But replace it with something better, not worse!


Paul Harper

It got published on Monday 21st Feb 2011: