The Federal Union committee discussed the forthcoming referendum on electoral reform at its meeting on 13 September and reached the following conclusions.
Different federations around the world use different electoral systems, so there was a question of whether a change in the electoral system used in the UK was a legitimate question for Federal Union to consider at all. The committee agreed that the electoral system should be understood as an integral part of the whole constitution, and different electoral systems might have different implications for other parts of the constitution on which Federal Union already had a view, and therefore that it was appropriate for Federal Union to take a position on the forthcoming referendum.
Which electoral system is better?
No electoral system is perfect, but some are more imperfect than others. The committee identified several reasons why the Alternative Vote (AV) might be preferable to First Past The Post (FPTP), including a probable reduction in the number of safe seats, the encouragement of a more rational approach to coalition building by political parties during the campaign, and the implications of a referendum No vote on other desirable proposals for constitutional reform.
It could not identify any reasons why FPTP was preferable to AV, and therefore agreed that, of the two systems, Federal Union should support AV.
However, the committee did not think it was appropriate to take part actively in the referendum campaign at this time.