Saturday, 29 January 2011

Debating AV

Here's a recent televised debate between the Establishment politician Margaret Beckett and Jonathan Bartley, who heads the campaign group "Yes to Fairer Votes". Personally I think Mr Bartley got the upper hand in this debate, but you make your own mind up:

On 5th May, we're all going to get the chance to vote for or against the introduction of the Alternative Vote system (AV), a seemingly small but significant change to the existing First Past The Post (FPTP) system. The difference with AV is that you number the candidates in order of preference, so you put 1 next to the guy you want to elect, 2 next to your second choice and so on. If your first choice doesn't get enough votes to be elected, then he's eliminated and your vote gets transferred to your second choice. This should eliminate the problem of tactical voting - instead of voting for whoever you think has the best chance of beating the guy you really don't want to get in, regardless of whether you like them or not, you can give your first preference to your favoured candidate without fear of your vote being wasted.

Although it's not a proportional system, it's an improvement on the current one. Not only will it eliminate wasted votes, it should also give a clearer picture of what kind of government the electorate actually want. The Libertarian Party supports this proposed reform, as do a broad range of other minority parties. Funnily enough, it's less popular with Establishment politicians, who seem to be generally happy with the system that got them elected (very often on small minorities).

5th May is going to be an opportunity to introduce a beneficial constitutional reform and give us, the general public, a bit more say in how this country is run. Don't miss the chance to vote Yes to fairer votes.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year from the Libertarian Party

The North West branch of the Libertarian Party would like to wish everyone a peaceful and prosperous new year.

It's true that the country is still in a bad economic situation, and will be for some time (at least in my opinion), but things can change for the better - it's just taking longer for us to recover from the recession than it should do, but even the most misguided economic policies can't completely stifle the entrepreneurial spirit.

2010 wasn't a bad year for the Libertarian Party. For the first time since our formation in late 2007, we fielded four candidates for election at the same time - two in the General Election and two in the local elections. No big breakthroughs yet, but you don't just set up a new party and get swept to power overnight. Every election we fight, we'll get better at it and we'll get better known, so watch out for us in this year's local elections.