Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Historians object to AV
Last week a group of historians wrote a letter to the Times raising their objections to the Alternative Vote, which will be considered in a referendum on 5 May. Amongst them are David Starkey, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Beevor, John Guy, Alison Weir and Chris Skidmore (the last two of whom have visited Nonsuch in the last few years). Their objection is that throughout British history people have struggled to gain the right to suffrage and establish the principle of one vote for each man or woman. They believe that AV weakens the equality of everyone's vote and leads to (In the words of Winston Churchill) "the most worthless votes given for the most worthless candidates". You can see the full text of the letter here.
Here is Chris Skidmore's longer explanation, and here is an alternative point of view. Hopi Sen's blog post also objects, and includes the interesting fact that until 1950, several Westminster seats were given to universities, where graduates of them were able to vote for a second time, using the single transferable vote system.
What's your opinion of AV? Please let us know.
PS: If you would like to see how the Daily Mail's reaction, click here.