The anti-alternative voters kick off by saying that AV is complicated, it lacks the democratic drama of first-past-the-post, and it’s no fairer anyway, as it’s still a majoritarian system, not a proportional one.
The pro-alternative voters argue that it’s not a perfect system, granted, but it will encourage prospective MPs to engage with more citizens in their constituencies. Also, that it’s majoritarian not proportional means it won’t lead to more hung parliaments, as some fear.
The anti-alternative voters come back – well, you heard it from the horse’s mouth: Tony Blair’s third majority would have been larger under AV and who’d have wanted that.
The pro-alternative voters reply, but we’ve got to start somewhere: people have no faith in politics, and so any change is better than no change.
The antis, say: see – it’s empty, gesture politics. And you presume that won’t disenchant voters further?
The pros, mutter: you’re the cynical ones with your negative campaign…
Inspiring, isn’t it.
UPDATE I think I’ll be voting no, as a weak protest against the approach to politics the issue seems to me to embody – nothing more substantial than tinkering with process: change something surface so that nothing really changes.