This morning we set up our 'No to AV' stall in George Lane, South Woodford. I was joined by councillors Chris Cummins and Paul Canal. We also had the local MP Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work & Pensions and high profile hospital cuts protester, join us for an hour.
Interesting people in AV is challenging - they would much rather have a referendum on our membership of the EU, that would really get people involved. In this case, most are planning not to vote on May 5th and the turnout is likely to be low. A great pity as we could find ourselves facing a major constitutional change without great public enthusiasm.
Most of the people we met are going to vote 'no', but of course there were some 'Yes' enthusiasts as well. One man told me that he wanted to be able to vote Lib Dem but to have a Conservative second choice to keep Ken Livingstone out! Superficially attractive, but is it really such a good idea to enshrine negative voting in the system like that? Won't it encourage negative campaigning? Or the buying of minority votes?
When I got home I found my postal voting form lying on the mat. I could cast this vote without any meaningful precaution to ensure that I am the person entitled to it, and in urban areas there are often allegations of postal vote fraud - surely there are some aspects of our voting system that need reform more urgently than AV.