“@BenPBradshaw: FPTP is what has kept the Conservatives in power for most of the last century”
And that is when I realised that none of the last decade and a bit of New Labour power needed to be factored into the equation.
For this is what has been confusing me over the past few months; this is what has been making me say “meh to AV”: the truth of the matter is that Labour was in power for more than an often marvellous decade through the very particular idiosyncrasies of the FPTP voting system. And this is what was stopping me from getting off my own particular mental fence.
But not any more. Because, you really might argue, the less than marvellous bits of that decade and a bit of New Labour power were less than marvellous precisely because of FPTP. Those who professed to be members of the Labour Party and yet imposed neo-liberal economic policies of the very worst and most unsustainable kind were able to do so under the cloak of firm and decisive government which FPTP inevitably helps to weave.
In reality, AV is just the start of what will need to be a far more fundamental process of political regeneration. We will need different politicians as well as different systems of voting – very different politicians. Politicians who know how to negotiate – honestly – narratives with the voters on a public stage, and then transmute those promises of explicit but inevitably emotional engagement into frank and straightforwardly workable party-political pacts.
Not an easy thing for professional politicos to do, when they’ve been nurtured and brought up in the yah-boo-sucks dynamics of our current system.
So that’s how I’ve come to my decision. It’s AV for me.
Let me know – if you decide in time – how you manage to get off your fence.