Matthew Elliott commented:
“The big political decision facing Britain this coming year is whether we should change our electoral system from one which has served us well for decades to one which even many in the ‘Yes’ camp dismiss as a very poor substitute for the system they really want.
The key democratic principles of accountability and transparency have always been at the heart of my work at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, and I feel very strongly that the ‘Alternative Vote’ system would make politicians less accountable and make elections less transparent.
Ditching our electoral system is not only of interest to political anoraks, it is a fundamental change that would affect the major policy decisions on tax, public spending, schools and hospitals for decades to come.
Having spent the past five years campaigning against expenses abuses by MPs, I am keen that power is shifted from Parliament to the people, but the ‘Alternative Vote’ system would give people less control over the laws which govern their lives. Prescribing the wrong medicine doesn’t make patients better, it makes them worse.”
Matthew Elliott will have most Conservatives on his side but, to be successful, he will also need to build alliances with (1) trade unions and other left-of-centre opponents of AV as well as (2) supporters of more proportional systems of election if he is to build a broad and winning coalition of the kind described by ConservativeHome.
Defeating AV looks increasingly possible. The latest polling, analysed by Melanchthon on CentreRight, suggests that older voters, who are most likely to turn out to vote, strongly oppose changing the voting system.
While Matthew is running the 'No' campaign from the beginning of October the TaxPayers' Alliance will be run by Matt Sinclair, a regular contributor to CentreRight.