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Alternative voting system is a dig at democracy

While I appreciate most of our politicians and parties are more interested in their salaries and survival, the lack of debate in Northern Ireland surrounding the voting referendum is incredible.

For those who believe in a representative democracy, where an MP represents a constituency, the suggestion that the Alternative Voting (AV) system should be used must be an anathema.

While there are some disadvantages to the first-past-the-post system, there is never any doubt that the MP elected has the support of the greater number of their constituents. Should those same constituents wish to change their representative, they can.

Under the AV system, it is highly likely that constituencies will be represented by the second-choice candidate and, even if the electorate would seek a change, by the vagaries of second-choice transfers the second-choice candidate will probably get in. There will be little or no change and politics will continue to stagnate.

To be clear: where there are multiple seats in a constituency to be won in an election, say for local government or for the Assembly, the use of AV, or our own version, single transferable vote, makes sense, but at Westminster, where candidates are elected singly on the premise that they represent the greater number of the people, then first-past-the-post remains the best system.

Therefore, I encourage all those who vote on May 5 to oppose the referendum by voting 'No'.


Portadown, Co Armagh


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