Its referendum day, a rare event in England, in fact the last time they held a referendum nationwide (which was for entry into the EEC) i think i was only just out of nappies. The referendum is to decide if we want to change our voting system from the current First Past The Post to Alternative Vote.
I've always been a fan of fairer voting and proportional representation though AV, where we would list the candidates in order of preference, would not give us that. It would be a tentative step on a road to fairer politics and true democracy though. The majority of parliamentary seats in the UK are safe seats which means that the incumbant does not have to try very hard to get re-elected in most occaisions.
I live in a very safe Labour seat for example, which is fine for me because i am a Labour party member, but there is little chance that voters for other parties will ever be able to have their say. A fairer proportional voting system where their votes count, where all votes count, can only be a good thing surely?
The AV campaign has been poor though on both sides, the No argument seems to have largely been that Britain is broke/crap and its population are idiots so we had best keep FPTP. The Yes campaign has been hardly noticable, in fact i do not recall seeing much from them about it at all.
I voted this morning and voted yes. If you have not voted yet why not vote yes to AV too? Has the current system really served us that well, it seems to give us dictatorial government (of both sides) that lasts for years fuelled by a minority of votes. Maybe AV is not perfect but it is a start and it is something different. Lets not be afraid of change, if it doesn't work we can always try something else but until we try how will we ever know?