Over at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free website, Lib Dem blogger James Graham – who works for Unlock Democracy, incorporating Charter 88 – argues that, whatever reservations electoral reformers may have about the non-proprotionality of the alternative vote system, it is quite simply the only show in town. Here’s an excerpt:
We could debate what system is best until the cows come home, but to seriously suggest that there is a viable alternative to AV at this stage is simply politically naive. AV is on the table because of a classic British compromise: it is a Labour policy being introduced by the Conservatives (who oppose any meaningful electoral reform) and the Liberal Democrats (who would like to go a lot further). This has only happened because of a unique set of circumstances that are unlikely to be repeated any time soon and, like it or not, we can’t unpick the coalition agreement now. Labour would be liable to vote down any other system and, with the help of the inevitable Tory rebels and abstainers, the bill would fall through.
Regardless of what might happen in five, 20 or 50 years time, at this precise moment you are faced with a choice between AV and the status quo. There can be no fence-sitters in the debate.
You can read James’s article in full here.