Nick Cleggs’ support for alternative vote (AV) system is a betrayal of those who have worked for many years for electoral reform. AV is no fairer than first past post and will reinforce sectarian voting patterns in Northern Ireland.
For those of us who have campaigned for electoral reform and a fair electoral system Cleggs support for AV which he previously dismissed as a “miserable compromise” is a total betrayal.
AV is not a proportional system and is grossly unfair to smaller parties. It reinforces the largest parties. The best example of AV in operation is the Australian Federal Elections where the 2 main parties win the seats and the smaller parties are totally excluded.
AV would also have a detrimental impact in Northern Ireland. It would reinforce sectarian voting and increase polarisation with smaller parties being eliminated.
The concerns with vote splitting will no longer arise as when the smaller unionist or nationalist party is eliminated the voter can then transfer to the larger unionist / nationalist party still remaining. This will turn every constituency into a sectarian headcount. It would effectively eliminate centre parties and members such as Naomi Long.
In supporting AV Nick Clegg has effectively sold out the cause of electoral reform for generations to come.