It doesn’t seem that long since the general election of 2010.
But today’s elections are different.
First there is the local elections. These are to elect our local councillors who run local services.
Second is the referendum on whether to change the current voting system of first past the post, to AV.
With regards to the local elections. I think most people reading know that I am a Conservative supporter. Although with some liberal leanings. In Reading, the local council is currently a coalition between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, like it happens to be for the national government.
I would normally vote Conservative, however, in my local ward, Redlands, it is a battle between Labour and Liberal Democrats, so recognising how much damage Labour did when they run the local council, I have to vote Liberal Democrat in my local election. It seems strange, but it is a preferred outcome to Labour winning in my ward.
With regards to the referendum on AV, I did toy with the idea of this, as I wondered if it might help keep Labour out, as I could then vote Conservatives as my first preference, Lib Dems second preference, UKIP third, greens fourth, BNP fifth and Labour sixth.
Apologies, that was a joke, I would not put any preference for BNP or Labour.
But I don’t like the idea that whoever finishes last, the second preference of their votes then gets counted towards the winner. Why should those who back the loser get another chance to vote? It doesn’t seem fair to me.
Also, I am concerned that elections would become a race to be the least unpopular. All kinds of promises could be made that would then be broken.
I have to stick with first past the post – so therefore I am voting NO to AV.
I don’t think first past the post is perfect, but I believe it is much better than AV.
I am a little worried though that we may be sleep-walking into voting a new electoral system into place that we don’t really want (the opinion polls show a majority against it). I cannot see huge amounts of people bothering to vote, and it worries me that then we end up with a electoral system that we do not want.
I encourage everyone to vote today, whether you agree or disagree with my voting intentions, it is important to have your voice heard. It is your electoral system, and your local council – don’t waste your chance in shaping the future.