CAMDEN’S local papers have this week been flooded with letters from local residents saying Yes! to Fairer Votes. The No campaign may be handsomely funded and have the ear of the big media outlets, but the Yes campaign has support from the streets.
The Yes campaign has support from the streets
How to make politicians’ lives harder (Camden Gazette)
I WELCOME Labour leader Ed Miliband for sticking his head above the parapet and saying that reforming the way we elect MPs will “make politicians’ lives more difficult, but we should welcome that”.
The Alternative Vote will make all politicians’ lives more difficult, especially sitting MPs who keep sneaking in with only a third of the votes. Any MP who would struggle to get 50 per cent of the votes because they are not popular enough will be worried – and that will include Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour MPs.
But any MP who gets out there, listens to everybody, and acts on concerns, will be O.K.
Peter McGinty, Rossendale Way, NW1
Keep MPs on their toes (Camden Gazette)
Votes for women and secret ballots were at one time considered dangerous ideas tampering with a “tried and tested system”.
The choice when we go to vote in the May referendum is between change and politics as usual. The reactionary forces campaigning against the Alternative Vote are trying to convince the public that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” when it is plain to see that our democracy is clapped out and needs a repair job.
The fact that half of all MPs’ seats haven’t changed hands in over 40 years must have something to do with it.
It’s no coincidence that MPs in all the seats that will no longer be safe are campaigning for No to AV. We have to keep them all on their toes
Lee Baker, Regent Square, WC1
'The people, not the politicians, should decide'
Not complicated (The Ham & High)
IT’S quite something that David Cameron is telling the electorate that a fairer voting system is too complicated for them. Most people I speak to seem more than capable of putting their first choice for MP first, their second choice second, and so on.
But what’s even odder is that a similar system was used by the Conservative Party to elect Cameron himself. The Conservative Party did not want a leader who only had the support of a minority of one wing of the party, but broad, majority support.
If it’s good enough for him, why not for us?
Wystan Palm, St Julian’s Road, NW6
Turkeys (The Ham & High)
I’M voting yes because ten times more MPs are planning to vote no to AV than the handful voting yes. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. I therefore deduce that No is the politicians’ preference and Yes is the people’s preference.
The people should be deciding, not the politicians. We employ them, so I am voting yes. Simples!
Kirsten de Keyser, Highgate, N6
Just a Ruse? (The Camden New Journal)
John MacDonald is wrong to say that a fairer voting system is only a Lib Dem “ruse” (No Thanks, April 14).
If that were so it’s an amazing ruse, one that involved inserting AV into the Labour 2010 manifesto, unbeknown to them, and orchestrating the ‘Take Back Parliament’ mass rallies on Whitehall demanding political reform be part of the coalition agreement.
The truth is reformers have fought for fairer votes for a century and our first Labour Government tried to introduce AV in 1930. Establishment figures are now trying to scare us from embracing change.
Andrew Rutherford, WC1
With AV, people can vote for who they really want
Real Change (The Camden New Journal)
THERE are three key positive reasons to vote Yes in the referendum:
1) AV will ensure MPs have to secure the support of 50 per cent of voters in their constituency to win.
2) AV will put an end to tactical voting. Voters will be able to vote honestly for the candidate they think will do the best job, without having to worry about ‘wasting’ their votes.
Voters will have the chance to number the candidates in order of preference, to make sure that their vote is as effective as possible.
3) AV will mean there will be more marginal seats and fewer safe seats. This gives voters more power over the outcome of an election and means there will be fewer MPs who can sit back knowing that they have ‘a job for life’. AV is a small change that would make a big difference to democracy.
David Abrahams, Broadhurst Gardens, NW6
JAMES Collins is wrong to say that the only party that voters will want to put second if our voting system is reformed will be the Lib Dems (Alternative we wouldn’t want, April 7).
Voters have shown themselves capable of voting for parties of all different stripes: in some areas the Green Party are the challengers to Labour; the alternative to Labour in Barnsley was UKIP. Labour leader Ed Miliband said reforming the way we elect MPs will “make politicians’ lives more difficult, but we should welcome that”. I think that Miliband is right.
Peter McGinty, NW1