The upcoming referendum on whether we should change our voting system is looming like a saltry summer afternoon. And while I (like almost everyone else) haven't really followed closely, it seems the political discourse around a yes or no is starting to turn nasty.
Next week (or is the week after?) we get to decide whether we want to express a second (or third, or fourth) preference for our MP, in the event that one candidate doesn't get an outright majority. Laid next to recent events across the Middle East, it seems a particularly British eccentricity for so many of our politicians to get in such a tizzy over such an essentially trivial change. I'm not so sure that it's so funny though. With a cabinet featuring 18 millionaires* embarking on a massive, ideologically driven, series of budget cuts that are likely to cripple the economy and blight a generation of school leavers, it's probably worth giving some thought as to why there is such opposition to this change?
The older I get, the more openly corrupt I perceive our politics to be; when you see David Cameron sharing a stage with John Reid to extol the virtues of anything it's probably a good idea to take the exact opposing view on principle - even if they were extolling free cup cakes for all there would no doubt be some small print based on self-interest somewhere along the line. So on that basis I'll probably vote yes to AV - anything that might allow the people to chip away at the carapace of our one party state and actually express some choice about something has got to be worth a try.
*This is a made up statistic based on a half-remembered newspaper report that I can't be bothered to google. Apologies to any cabinet members who feel unfairly maligned, please feel free to post the correct figures in the comment section below.