It is wholly unnecessary to write this piece, even without a single leaflet, the anti AV conglomeration have won the battle. AV, which has never been popular nor chosen as government policy by force of electorate; is now deathly tied to the 2nd party of the collation, who have managed the distinguished achievement of being even less well received then their own voting reforms.
I believe, however in also wining the intellectual argument; which we have left behind due to the ease of actual victory. Let us first look at the weaknesses of AV the first and most disturbing is its corrosive effect on the meaning of “voting for”.
Whatever the sins of FPTP it is concretely based on the idea of actively voting for something or some one, I mean by this in FPTP one is forced to make a choice for a single candidate or idea. AV on the other hand no one actually votes for a candidate they merely register vague sympathy for them. In FPTP everyone has a single vote that they give wholly to there chosen option but in AV you are allowed to diminish your choice among many thus eroding the very idea of choosing or voting for anything.
The second issue is it fatally attacks the ideal of one man one vote: I will not labour how many lives have been lost and how many bones broke to achieve the democratic ideal that within the democratic sphere and in particular in the voting booth all men have the right for a vote and each man has the same number of votes and that is one. Under AV those who vote for smaller parties (as the votes are redistributed upward) are allowed to votes at least twice and in some cases several times. Now those who support AV will say those who vote for the winning party (once) have the enjoyment of seeing that party returned on the basis of there one vote but it can not be compensation for those who vote for smaller parties have tow or three votes to your one.
Another crime for which it is guilty is it drives votes toward the least disliked. Think of the labour leadership election, it was not the most popular or the most controversial; it was the least offensive to both sides. They where not selected by first or even second preference votes but by fourth and fifth, they were elected by the “there okay I suppose” preference. As we know candidates follow and are pushed by electoral trends and if moving toward blandness and indecisiveness if the key to win on the great surge of “there okay I suppose” votes then this is exactly what they will do.
Added to this the fact that I very much doubt that AV will alter the electoral landscape, indeed I believe it will reinforce the dominance of the two party system. Let us use the Ed Balls seat as an example. Labour where only defeated by UKIP votes from the Tories, had AV been used those preferences would have transferred to the Tories. Indeed safe in the knowledge that a first preference vote for a smaller party is little more than a “I support them” vote there proliferation will increase and there 1str pref vote share will as well but the winners are the larger catch all parties which these used to harm