Nice to see the Labour Party join up with the Lib Dems in what many would normally regard as the more natural coalition. Today Ed Miliband joined with the upper echelons of the Lib Dems and Green Party leader, Caroline Lucas, to promote the case for the Alternative Vote.
Whilst Nick Clegg was absent from the stand, evidently on a trade visit to Mexico, rumours have done the rounds in Westminster that Miliband would only appear if Nick didn’t. Not normally one to attack the Labour party, given my left of centre leanings, I can’t help but feel this was rather an immature response, if there is any truth in the allegation.
Nevertheless whether Miliband (“the tragedy for progressive politics historically has been that the division on the centre and the left has handed a united right victory after victory”) and Clegg are friends or not – it’s great to see the two Party’s working together in the Country’s common interest. Saying ‘Yes’ on 5th May is vital if we are to move away from the practise of first past the post which repeatedly fails to reflect the views of the majority ie one can win with less than 50% of the overall vote.
In an article he wrote for The Guardian in May last year, leading campaigner Peter Tatchell explained “every government since the 1950s has taken power based on less than 50% of the popular vote. None has won majority public support at the ballot box”. Tatchell went on to say “Thanks to the unfair voting system, the anti-Tory majority have frequently ended up with a minority of MPs”.
It is no surprise therefore that the landed gentry of our current times, including Conservative MPs like Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex), object to voting reform. They know that if the new system is introduced they will have to work harder, and represent all their constituents (and not just the privileged few) if they are to have any chance of retaining their seat going forward.
So on May 5th go out there and vote! Vote ‘Yes’ to AV; a fairer way to reflect the views of the electorate.