Daily Archives: May 4, 2011

Gideon Rachman

Forget Osama bin Laden. In Britain, the real political drama is about the referendum that will be staged tomorrow on the Alternative Vote – which would be a new way of electing parliaments. It is the first referendum for the whole of Britain on anything for decades.The idea would be to abandon first-past-the-post – in which the winning candidate is the one that gets the most votes – in favour of AV, where you list candidates in order of preference. If your first-choice candidate is eliminated, your second preference vote is then assigned – the idea is that nobody can be elected without 50% of the vote.

I am voting against, which seems to place me in a minority of one on the FT columnists’ corridor. Martin Wolf is in favour of AV; so is Philip Stephens; so is the FT as a newspaper. So let me explain myself. Read more