Part 3 — Amendments of other enactments
Royal Commission (London)
Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green)
I absolutely agree with the hon. Gentleman. In a way, it is pretty arrogant for Members to assume that the population do not have a view and cannot make a sensible choice. Are we really saying that first past the post is such a strong and popular system that it justifies such a narrow question? Recent history suggests that it is not. It is no accident that following the collapse of the Soviet Union, not one of the eastern or central European countries emerging from years of totalitarian rule chose the Westminster model. Similarly, is AV really the only system that we should consider if we want to change?
I acknowledge that the alternative vote system has a number of advantages over first past the post and that, in some respects, it represents a small step forward. The Electoral Reform Society has conducted a thorough analysis of AV, and I share its assessment that there are some positives. Those positives include the ability of voters to record a sincere first preference, thus reducing the need for tactical voting; the widening of the political choice available to the elector; and the disincentives that the system offers for parties to pursue core vote strategies that ignore the wishes of the majority of the electorate.