There has been a lot of debate about whether introducing the Alternative Vote (AV) would make it more likely that a BNP or similar candidate would be elected. Given that AV is not a proportional representation system, I think that this is unlikely, but, more importantly, it shouldn’t matter.
The problem with the BNP and other extremist groups is not that they might send a representative or two to a legislature (where they usually behave badly and often fail to get re-elected), but that support exists for them at all.
If the BNP/EDL have, say, 5% support nationally, then that is what needs to be addressed, not worrying which voting system will best keep them out of power. It is in day to day life that this matters the most; the BNP are a racist, anti-immigrant party, so it will be local non-whites and immigrants who bear the brunt of living in an area where people support the BNP.
Having no BNP representatives at any level doesn’t mean that support for them has disappeared. No one should be happy if a BNP representative is elected, but that is a symptom of the problem, not a cause.
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Filed in: Current affairs,Party politics,The BNP