Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Unprecedented joint letter supporting AV

from Croydon Advertiser (Friday 22th April)

I wonder if this is an unprecedented joint letter for Croydon (probably never to be repeated!!), given there are four local parties represented? Naturally it took a little coordinating - but happily we got there.


Dear Editor

On 5th May voters in Croydon will join those across the country in voting on the Alternative Vote (AV) referendum to decide how MPs in future should be elected to the House of Commons.

In our 'winner takes all' electoral system the outcome is decided in a tiny handful of seats, and very few voters have a real say, having to resort to negative tactical voting. Currently it is possible to become an MP with just one-third of the vote! For many MPs a safe seat means a job for life.

AV is a fairer system and is better for the public becuase MPs will have been elected by a real majority instead of by the largest minority. It should make politicians reach out beyond their core supporters and good MPs should appreciate having truer mandate from their constituents.

An AV ballot paper will look exactly the same as it currently does. Instead of only putting an 'X' in just one box, you will be able to put a '1,2,3...' and so on in as many boxes as you please. You can rank as many or as few candidates as you like. If you only want to support one candidate, you can - just mark an 'X' as you did before. AV gives you the freedom to show support sincerely for any number of candidates you feel are up to the job.
We, the undersigned, have put our Party differences aside to show why a YES vote will give YOU a stronger voice in your constituency and create a more progressive and fairer brand of politics. We urge you to vote 'Yes' to fairer votes.

Yours sincerely

Gerry Jerome (Liberal Democrat)
Shasha Khan (Green Party)
Andrew Pelling (Labour)
Peter Staveley (UKIP)
Malcolm Wicks MP (Labour)
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