To a debate on the Alternative Vote, organised by Cambridge Labour party. I talked about AV a bit before when I was unenthusiastic. I’m still unenthusiastic (which is part of the Tories cunning trick I think) but certainly in favour.
The two debaters were John Denham MP (in favour) and Gavin Shuker MP (against). Both Labour. Neither presented a particularly strong logical argument for their view – in the case of the anti, presumably because there is no such argument. They tossed a coin for who went first (GS), had their 10 mins each, then 2 mins replies, then questions from the floor. I had to leave to go shopping after an hour, which was a shame, because I was interested (I can listen with my eyes shut you know). I haven’t been to a political meeting for ages, so that aspect was fun too.
I won’t rehearse the arguments in favour in detail here (you can find them at Yes! To fairer votes if you want). My own are (a) it will be good for the Green Party (b) and the Lib-Dems (c) and bad for the two-party system (d) and if we vote this down, we won’t get a chance of anything better for ages. None of those were particularly strong arguments in a Labour environment, the main argument used “for” was that it is a Progressive system for Progressive times and a Progressive party, and would lead to politicians having to broaden their appeal and be less identikit.