System change due

‘AV is unfair’ says Conservative campaigner Mrs Trevelyan in last week’s Northumberland Gazette.

Far from helping the BNP, as she suggests, the BNP are campaigning with Mrs Trevelyan to keep the current unfair first past the post system – as they think the change to AV will work against them.

The Yes to Fairer Votes campaign has drawn support from across the political spectrum and from people who have stopped voting because they feel their vote is worthless under the present system.

I’m campaigning for people to vote Yes in the referendum on May 5. Why? AV keeps what works with our current system, and eliminates many of its weaknesses. It’s a long overdue upgrade to make a 19th century system fit for the politics of the 21st century.

The secret ballot, votes for women and votes for working people were all innovations once and met with opposition. These changes didn’t rip up the rule book, but they were necessary to improve the way we do politics.

And the change this time is simple. If someone wants to represent our community they need the votes of the majority of the community. That’s what making every vote count really means.

First past the post fails the basic test of fairness, by letting many MPs speak for the majority with support from the few. AV won’t give people multiple votes. If you offer to go to the shop for me, and I say ‘Please could you get me a Mars bar, but if they haven’t got any I’ll have a Snickers’, I won’t end up with two chocolate bars.

If you want to make MPs and would-be MPs work much harder for their community, join me and vote Yes for fairer votes on May 5.

Dr Clare Mills,

(Liberal Democrat),

The Dunterns,

Alnwick