British voters were denied a real choice between a proportional and non-proportional voting system, in a referendum that amounted to little more than a vote between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Campaign for MMP said today.
With nearly all votes counted, Britons have voted for the status quo in their referendum on First Past the Post versus Alternative Vote.
Campaign for MMP spokesperson Sandra Grey said that unlike New Zealand’s MMP voting system, Alternative Vote is not a proportional system, meaning that the make up of Parliament doesn’t reflect how people vote.
She said that the UK referendum was a lost opportunity.
“All those who were calling for electoral change in Britain wanted real change, to a proportional system where everybody’s votes count equally, and where there are less wasted votes,” Sandra Grey said.
“No one was calling for AV as the voting system to be pitted against First Past the Post. But their Government refused to allow a real choice for voters between the current system and a proportional system.”
“Instead, they got a referendum on two inferior systems. It really was a case of Tweedledum versus Tweedledee.”
Sandra Grey said that in contrast, New Zealand had an independent Royal Commission in the 1980s, a 1992 referendum on what alternatives to First Past the Post people wanted, and a further run-off referendum in 1993, in which New Zealanders backed MMP.
New Zealanders will vote in a referendum on keeping MMP alongside this year’s general election, she said.