The RSA/Hansard Society AV Debate
5th May 2011; 13:00Listen to the audio
(full recording including audience Q&A)
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The AV referendum is only the second nationwide referendum in the UK’s history, and the result will change the nature of our democracy.
'First past the post’ supporters argue that the current system generally leads to stable government, is straightforward and easy to understand, and has historically reflected the will of the public by voting out unpopular governments.
AV supporters argue that many votes are wasted under the current system, with elections decided by a small number of voters in a handful of seats where no single party has a large majority. This then discourages people from voting and makes them disengage with the political process.
An expert panel gather to reflect on a month of relentless campaigning, and to discuss the implications for our national political culture.
Speakers: Dr Alan Renwick,electoral reform expert and author; John Rentoul, chief political commentator, the Independent; Robert Colvile, comment editor, The Sunday Telegraph and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies.
Chair: Ruth Fox, director of the Parliament and Government Programme, the Hansard Society.
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