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I


t was great to be out and about in Watford in the sunshine last weekend, however for me the


first signs of spring always have different connotations; that an election is just around the corner. It is still hard to believe that it was almost a year since I was elected to be your MP and we are now facing another election in the next few weeks. This May will be an election with a difference:


as well as voting for your local Councillor you will also have a chance to vote in the referendum on our electoral system. This will be one of the most important votes in


my lifetime and I am urging all people, regardless of your opinion on the matter to go out and vote. Whatever the outcome it is important that it is truly reflective of what the nation wants and this will only be the case if as many people as possible cast their vote on the 5 May. I personally will be voting no. In the UK we


have a strong and proud tradition of „one person, one vote‟. Under AV each vote will not be equal to


another; for those who put a minority party as their first preference who have no chance of winning, their second or third choice will be given more weight than those who vote for one of the main parties. Looking at the General Election results on


2010, the BNP secured 1217 votes. Under AV every second or third preference vote made by a BNP voter for a major party would be counted, whereas someone voting for a major party would have their vote counted only once. AV is only used in three countries, Australia,


Papa New Guinea and Fiji. Of these countries, Papa New Guinea and Fiji are already looking to change this system and 60% of Australians want to scrap the system all together.


One of the main arguments for AV is that it


gives voters the chance to create change in the traditional safe seats. This would not be the case. In many of these


seats MPs poll more than 50% of the votes and therefore automatically get elected. Any change to the electoral system would be a


very expensive change at a time when we just don‟t have such money to spend. AV would not only change how MPs are elected


but also how Government is formed. This would make coalition Governments the standard, not the exception, allowing all future Governments to be formed by politicians making back room deals rather than it being truly reflective of how the nation has voted. Another historical event is set to take place


this month, with perhaps even more coverage than the AV referendum; the Royal Wedding. I was delighted to see that Hertfordshire is the county with the most applications for Street parties in the country, I myself will be celebrating at a street party with a Watford charity. However you plan to spend your day I hope that it is enjoyable.


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