SOUTH BASILDON and East Thurrock constituent and supporter of the Alternative Vote system Luke Tyson has responded to MP Stephen Metcalfe’s criticism of the system.
“Changing to the Alternative Vote (AV) system of electing MPs is a small change that will make a big difference. The expenses scandal has shown us all how deeply out of touch some of our politicians are, and that is why this campaign is about the people and not the politicians.
Under AV, MPs will have to work harder to get and maintain our support, instead of – as some do now – taking us for granted. They’ll have to reach out to the broader community and not just rely on their historic support. You only have to look at those dinosaurs leading the No campaign to see that they want to protect their interests and resist any change for the better.
My MP, Stephen Metcalfe, says that he will not be supporting this change for the better (http://www.yourthurrock.com/2011/02/21/no2av-says-mp-stephen-metcalfe/) and has made frankly absurd claims.
Firstly, he claims that his constituents do not have the capacity to write 1, 2, 3 on a ballot paper instead of an X. This shows an enormous lack of respect for the people he represents in parliament and I find it quite offensive. For an MP to hold his constituents in such low esteem is typical of this broken system.
Another claim is that changing to AV will cost £250 million to set up. The No campaign claim, wrongly, that counting machines will be required to count the votes on election night. This is simply not true and the Electoral Commission has confirmed this. I’ve answered the “expensive voter education campaigns” claim above.
No doubt, over the coming months, the No campaign will continue to come out with ludicrous claims and deeply offensive advertising campaigns. Don’t take their arguments at face value – dig a little deeper and you’ll find them wanting. And at no point will you hear them defending the current system – because it is indefensible.
Only MPs that cannot get the majority of the support from the people they represent have anything to fear from this change, and I’m disappointed that Mr Metcalfe has put himself in the No camp – seemingly afraid to accept this small change that will make a big difference.