Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Alternative to AV

Jumping on a bandwagon is not something I do very often but the debate around AV has started so I am going to jump in with both feet.

The AV system should encourage main parties to discuss and engage with more people. If you are in a 'safe seat' but only get around 35% of the votes (quite common) then you will have to ask what the other 65% of the electorate are thinking. If all of those people end up with the second placed candidate - you will be in trouble.

Unfortunately, we don't have huge amounts of forward thinking, innovative and popular politicians. We don't have politicians who will go out and speak to people who may not agree with their party ideas or who will debate and consider arguments rather than shout louder and discredit the alternative view.
Politicians and the main political parties are the main reason that this system might not deliver what it promises. It relies on politicians taking brave steps forward and doing things differently, which is not what British MP's are renowned for.

So here is my alternative.
Make the House Of Lords 100% elected through PR. Give the HoL more powers to scrutinise the HoC and to act as the 'Big Brother'. I would like to see the HoL act as the connection between National and Local Government by sitting on Local Council boards in rotation. They would only need to physically sit in HoL for one or two days per week as we would move to remote access debates through video conferencing etc.

This ensures that everyone has at least two but usually more people who they can go to if they have an issue and that these people are closer to the masses. Surely this is a better solution than messing around with grumpy idiots in HoC, who can then sit back and watch how they should be doing their job.

Yes it would cost money, but then so does the current system and who can you talk to in the HoL to get your point heard? This would be an investment in the future of the whole country and would provide more of a voice for those who do not currently have one.

As for AV, it is a good start and we all need to start somewhere. It will only change the results in a few very close seats and I doubt it will change the behaviour of MP's - but at least we are trying.

No comments: