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Britain lives or dies by its decision today

deep holeGiven the choice, would you rather live or die? Swim or drown? Breathe or suffocate? Change something for the better, or keep it the same?

Today, Britain has this decision to make. The first step toward a brighter future, or the permanency of this dark, cold, sterile present.

Life or death: Is this just hyperbole? Tell that to ten Britons who find themselves in a deep pit with no obvious means of escape.

Three are depressive, lonely individuals who want to die anyway. They see this claustrophobic enclosure as the perfect way to finally slip away from the dull, soulless life that they each live.

But seven are positive, intelligent, free-thinking individuals who, despite what they have in common, cannot agree on the best means of escaping the hole.

It goes to a vote. Two of the positive people vote to dig a tunnel out of there. Two others vote to climb out. Two more vote to make a smoke signal. One votes to call the fire brigade on their mobile phone.

The three depressed, conservative people each vote for the same idea: Die a slow, lonely death.

Under First Past The Post (FPTP), the voting system that today we have a chance to rid this island of for good, the ten Britons would have elected to die. Despite the fact seven out of ten oppose this idea.

Under the Alternative Vote (AV) system, the seven Britons who voted to find a way to live, but couldn’t agree on how to do so, would have selected alternate methods of survival as their second, third and fourth choices. And they would have lived.

In reality, you wouldn’t use a voting system to escape out of a hole. The best idea is probably just to phone for help. Then make a smoke signal. Then climb out. Then dig. You try all of these methods. If one fails, the other might work. You don’t wait to die.

Only a moron would fall down a hole, try one method of escape, and then give up if it fails. But that is what FPTP encourages – stupidity. And it forces everyone to accept the death wishes of a minority of stupid, depressing people.

AV, on the other hand, is a sensible, common sense method of decision-making that gives you a realistic choice. It is a voting system which reflects the sensible actions that smart people would make in real-life situations.

Make the positive choices that you think best, and leave the rest to rot in their grave.

So for those who go to the polls today, you have a choice between life and death. And this isn’t just hyperbole, or a metaphor to explain how AV would improve politics.

This referendum is about the life and death of British democracy. Never again will we have such a clear chance to revive it.



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