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 – What are your thoughts on the proposition that the failure of the recent Alternative Vote referendum was partially caused by some voters thinking it did not go far enough?
Reminds me of the Australian republic referendum which faulted because, even the majority wanted a republic, people felt that the model put forward further entrenched the political power of the politicians rather than the voters.
I think it's possible some people voted Nay on that basis, but I believe most people who knew enough about the different voting systems to consider that argument also knew that AV is better than FPTP and voted Yay even though AV wasn't their ideal system.
I am aware of a lot of arguments that AV isn't the best so should have been rejected. Indeed, considering it's objective proof that the No2AV campaign lied its ass off, whether Yes or No would lead to better reform in the future the only debate worth having. As was pointed out here, it's rather silly to put off all reform because the worst that could happen under a Yes vote would be that we're stuck with AV, which is better than FPTP. To vote No rationally, while being in favour of more reform you'd have to prove that a No vote would produce a significantly higher chance of further reform - and that would require government interpreting "I don't want reform" as "actually, I do want reform". Voting No on those grounds would effectively be like women in 1918 saying "fuck your over 30 and married shit, I'll wait for full suffrage". That sort of position is naive as it is stupid.
And of course, with respect to voting reform 1) the head of the No campaign has said the vote has secured FPTP for a generation, and I'm inclined to agree. Reform has been kicked in the teeth not for years but for decades 2) the only party that has pushed for reform is actively punished by the current system, so are unlikely to ever gain the power again to bring it about and 3) the public have effectively said "we don't want voting reform". STV, PR or AV+ is not going to happen, and fuck, I'm young but I'll be impressed if it happens in my lifetime.
I doubt the vast majority of No votes were for that reason, though.