In voting for or against AV I think we've latched on to the wrong definition of "alternative". Arguably the most common definition of the word is "pertaining to unconventional choices". As in, "an alternative lifestyle", or "alternative medicine". Not a great rep. Alternative medicine, for instance, is often used to mean medicine that simply doesn't work. (Or else it'd be called "medicine") And as much as I adore Stewart Lee, his "alternative comedy" reaches a minority.
So I don't know why we thought this country could vote for anything "alternative". Except by accident, of course, because a libcon coalition is pretty alternative - but nobody actually voted for that.
I worry a bit that people think change is dangerous and liberalism is wishy-washy. It's like people believe that in brighter days we could be as alternative as we wanted, because the days were bright and sunny and free cash would flow freely from the orifices of passers by.
Then the economy went "lol goodbye" and everything was dreary and clerical, and the voters went "enough liberalism, let's be serious now. Let's be grown up".
Liberalism is for students and alternativism is for tree-huggers. Right? Right? I can hear it now, the chorus of the grey: "thank you, liberal, you're very charming with your doves and leaves, and you have some clever little ideas, they're coming along nicely, but we don't have much time, sweetheart, so why don't you get us a grown-up?"
Then there's the feeling that maybe possibly perhaps none of us actually know anything about AV, and we were a bit confused because we didn't know which was the good guy and which was the bad guy.
It doesn't help that the democratically glorious chance to vote for how we vote was twinned with MP elections. Did people even vote for the MPs? Actually, did anyone even vote in the AV referendum severally? Or is everyone still turning politicians into celebrities like they do in America and casting their AV vote based on wispy correlations like "I'll vote NO because of Nick Clegg" or "I'll vote YES because of David Cameron"?
And I might as well take the whole thing completely out of context as well, because the whole country is depressing as sin, and, just to show our positivity, our optimism, our spirit, our hope, we rise up and yell:
... actually, we rose up and muttered "no". Hark.