(Muslim) Idiot's Guide to Alternative Voting
On 5th May we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to choose how we would like to vote.
What is this ‘Alternative Vote’ thing?
It’s as simple as 1,2,3. Instead of just putting an ‘X’ for one person when you vote, you can rank the candidates with 1 for your favourite, 2 for your next choice and so on. If there’s somebody who you don’t want to rank, then just leave them out.
This way even if your first choice doesn’t win, you can still have your say in who your MP will be as your vote can be transferred to your second choice. It’s still ‘one person, one vote’ and now we get a real choice and a real say.
What’s wrong with the current voting system?
Currently we have the ‘first past the post’ system, i.e. you vote for one person only and you don’t get a second choice. MPs can win even if they only get 1 vote more than the next person. This means that MPs can get into power even when most voters wanted other people.
It also means that lots of peoples’ votes are wasted and don’t count in deciding who becomes the MP. Because of this many MPs ignore what us voters say, as they are confident they have a job for life.
What’s so great about the Alternative Vote?
The best thing about this system of voting is that an MP can only be sure to come in to power if they get at least 50% of the votes; so that will mean that those MPs who manage to stay in power by a few votes only will be in danger come election time.
As MPs have to aim for 50% of the vote it’s good news for us, because anti-Muslim parties such as the BNP and UKIP will be out immediately. (That explains why these parties are against the Alternative Voting system.)
As candidates will no longer be able to hang on to power by a few votes, they will have to work harder. If you’re unhappy about something your MP will actually have to listen to you or run the risk of losing power.
So what should I do?
Remember - do yourself and the wider community a favour and vote YES on 5th May.