After a lot of toing and froing it was the last-minute opinion polls that finally made up my mind. 68% plan to vote no, says this morning's Guardian. Whether you agree with AV or not, a resounding defeat is likely to put voting reform off the political agenda for another generation, and saddle us with a first past the post system that gave Margaret Thatcher the leverage to smash the trade unions and Blair a sufficient majority to invade Iraq. As the Daily Mail puts it:
The referendum comes as academic analysis revealed coalition governments would be three times more likely under AV than the present system – and Margaret Thatcher would not have won a majority in 1979.
Sounds ok to me.
I'm voting yes to AV because I want proportional representation. There's something deeply wrong with a system in which the votes of people in 100-odd marginal constituencies matter more than those in the remaining 500 (and if you don't believe me, just look at how the Tories spent Ashcroft's cash). Don't let bullshit like this stand in your way.