senior Conservatives in the Ribble Valley have voted to oppose the introduction of the Alternative Vote system for electing MPs.
The executive committee of Ribble Valley Conservative Association voted overwhelmingly to join the “No to AV” campaign at the urging of MP Nigel Evans.
Vice-chairman Coun. Ken Hind said: “On May 5th there is a nationwide referendum on whether to replace the present voting system of ‘First Past the Post’ with the ‘Alternative Vote’ – or AV. The Liberal-Democrats demanded this referendum as part of the Coalition agreement, but the Conservative Party is actively campaigning for a ‘No’ vote.”
Coun. Hind cited the reasons for the stance as:
AV is unfair. With First Past the Post, everybody gets one vote, but under AV supporters of extreme parties like the BNP would get their vote counted many times, while other people’s vote would only be counted once.
AV doesn’t work. Rather than the candidate with the most votes winning, the person who finishes third could be declared the winner.
AV is expensive. Calculating the results is a long, complicated process, which would cost the taxpayer millions.
No-one wants AV. Even the “Yes” campaigners don’t want AV – they see it as a stepping stone to more changes to how we vote. This could be one of the most major decisions taken in British democracy since entering the EU.
“We join with 150 Labour MPs and a number of other parties in seeking to reject this change in electing representatives at all levels,” said Coun. Hind.
“Despite Liberal Democrat support it has been described by Nick Clegg a ‘a miserable little compromise’ during the General Election. It is only used in three countries in the world – Papua and New Guinea, Fiji and Australia. Many others have looked at it and rejected it as it leads to to weak government and election