AV is far from perfect but it is much, much better than the current system.
I am 49 and the only general election where my vote might actually have mattered was 1997: every other time, the only votes that mattered were the selection panel of the party whose 'safe seat' it was.
Apart from civic pride etc, there was no point to me voting because the result was a foregone conclusion and everyone I wanted to win was certain to lose.
I'd quite like that not to happen again. I don't mind so much everyone I wanted to win losing, it's the foregone conclusion that they would which stinks.
I've helped in more by-elections than I can remember, and it's easy to tell which were regarded as the safe seats because, Tory Berkshire or Labour suburb of Liverpool, the people there are ignored. That's why by-election shocks happen: for once, people think their vote matters. AV would mean that happens in far, far more places every election.
And to those who say it's too complicated, somewhere on Twitter, someone posted a link to a wonderful flowchart comparison of the two systems. It went something like:
AV (Alternative Vote, the proposed system)
1. In your mind, put the candidates in order.
2. Write that on the ballot paper. Done!
First Past the Post (the current system)
1. In your mind, put the candidates in order
2. Is the first one certain to win?
3. If they are certain to win, vote for them or don't bother voting (it won't change the result..) Done!
4. If they are not certain to win, do they have any real chance of winning?
5. If they have a real chance of winning, vote for them and hope. Done!
6. If they do not have a real chance of winning, who is next on your list who does?
7. If no-one, you might as well not vote. (You've been) done!
8. If there is someone, vote for them, holding your nose if necessary.
9. Hope you got it right and your first choice doesn't lose by one vote. Done!
Previously published as a comment elsewhere in a slightly different form, as they say at the start of all the best works :)
This entry was originally posted at http://lovingboth.dreamwidth.org/423688.html, because despite having a permanent account, I have had enough of LJ's current owners trying to be evil. Please comment there using OpenID - have and if you have an LJ account, you can use it for your OpenID account. Or just join Dreamwidth! It only took a couple of minutes to copy all my entries here to there.