Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Definitely Voting 'YES' tomorrow

I lived in Australia for 35 years. At election time, I usually voted for a minority party that reflected my true beliefs In other words, whatever one was the greenest. At the same time, I knew that one of the other of the two main parties would almost certainly win. And I definitely had a preference for one of those (the Australian Labor Party) over the other.

Under the Australian system of preferential voting, I could express my loyalty to the party of my choice by voting for them. And at the same time I could indication my preference for the ALP. So that if it was a tight election, my vote would still count. In other words, my vote truly did express what I wanted.In full.

Here in England, under the FPTP system, if I vote for my party of first choice (the Green Party), which has a snowball's chance in hell of winning in my constituency, then in terms of the battle of Labour vs Conservative, mine is a wasted vote. I have no way, here, of expressing my full wishes. I am hobbled.

The UK Tories are telling people that Australians don't like their system. I believe that is a total lie. In all my 35 years there I never once heard anyone express a wish to switch to a FPTP ballot. A lot of people - including me - did say that proportional representation, like many European countries have, would be an even better way to choose a government. And maybe we'll even manage that, eventually. Meanwhile...

Brits are a conservative bunch and don't take kindly to change. I can hardly dare to hope that they will flock to the polls tomorrow to vote 'YES' and change this antiquated and unfair system to a fairer, more flexible and more democratic one. But oh, it would be so wonderful if they did!

6 comments:

Tess Giles Marshall said...

Damn straight. I shall be there with my "yes" hat on!

Jill said...

yep me too :)

Devonmama said...

Us too!

kerrdelune said...

Marian, we have just elected our first green member to the federal parliament here in Canada, and I was so happy - thought the day would never come. of course, the new government is Tory, but at last we Greens are on our way, and Elizabeth May will make a fine representative in the house.

Elderwoman said...

That's great news, Cate.
Needless to say the 'no' vote won here (sigh).

1000myths said...

I lived in the U.K. from '70 to '83 but after much thought (it took me more than a year to decide) I moved my family to the U.S., mostly because I didn't want them caught in the cross-fire of the class war.
It seemed like the right move at the time but now I'm not so sure.