The Electoral Reform Society has campaigned relentlessly for many decades for a change to a more proportional voting system. Its membership voted overwhelmingly to campaign for a YES in the referendum on the Alternative Vote (AV) on May 5th. It did this because there are many ways AV is fairer than the present system, but one of the main reasons was that AV generally produces more proportional results.
As the Guardian put it in May 2010; 'STV and AV are not technically PR they just happen to usually give a more proportional outcome than FPTP'.
The NO2AV campaign is outspending the YES campaign many times (by how much we will find out after the referendum).
Initially the YES campaign played to its strengths by focussing on its biggest asset - its many supporters, and it ran a successful grassroots campaign, but lately NO2AV partly by being underhand but also by being very clever are beating the YES campaign with NO2AV propaganda funded by right wing Tories and Taxpayer Alliance types and backed by the right wing media.
It is preposterous to claim that a NO vote to changing the present system will somehow help the PR cause. Once this referendum is over, and this has took decades even to get this chance for change in the face of MPs overwhelming hostility to changing a system that gives them jobs for life, it will be business as usual and a NO will be presented as a YES to first-past-the-post. Those funding this new cause with its brand new website are against ALL forms of change. They oppose PR more than they do AV, but they know they need to win over some PR enthusiasts if they are to win against AV, so they fund this ridiculous campaign.
What is even worse is that the BBC gives 2 links to the NO campaign because of this new website, but only one to the YES campaign. How is that fair or impartial?
To this end, I will be contacting the YES campaign to right this wrong. In the meantime here is my new website I have set up to campaign for AV AND PR. A campaign for change that makes far more sense than the spurious and dare I say cynical NO campaign.