Tag Archives: AV

The National Interest

The broader reasons for campaigning for a No will probably be comprehensively familiar. It is bad for the country. It complicates the British electoral system by giving voters another system they have to get their heads around, a particular nuisance for those already dealing with devolved government. Voting becomes more complicated, leading to a higher spoil rate and increased frustration, together with a much higher number of ballot challenges.

At the same time, recounts become vastly more difficult to administer, and form just one element of why the new form of election will slow to a crawl (which we know from 2010 can have damaging effects upon both the Markets, and the political neutrality of the civil service). Paradoxically, the shift to AV will encourage MPs operating under the new system to claim an increased mandate, resulting of all things in an increased divide between politicians and their voters. Then there is the physical cost.

The Scottish Parliament demonstrated how changes will cost tens of millions of pounds, as automated ballot reading machines are needed in place of human tellers, carrying with them new maintenance and training costs, as well as storage bills since they have to be maintained in a secure environment.

On top of that, there will be educational costs as the voter will inevitably be subjected to a media campaign explaining to him and to her how the new voting system works. It’s tens of millions of Pounds of waste during a period of national cut backs, and it will be a consultant’s nirvana.

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