Today, in the UK, has been dubbed Super Thursday because of all the elections going on everywhere. Living in London, I have a vote on the London Mayor and the London Assembly. for the first time, the London Mayor will be voted by alternative vote, which is why for the first time I have voted for Count Binface.
Alternative vote lets you vote for someone other than the pragmatic "choice between two candidates" that at always comes down to – at least not initially. You can vote with your heart, and then with your head. If no candidate gets over half of the first votes, then those with the least votes see the second votes of people who voted for them, distributed to the other candidates, until one has over half the vote. In London that is going to mean the Labour candidate Sadiq Khan and his Conservative challenger Shaun Bailey.
Indeed, voted for either of them as a first vote is going to be a wasted vote, as odds are your second vote will never get to be distributed, if it ends up 55% Sadiq and 45% Bailey for example. You might as well vote for a fringe candidate who more accurately represents your views from the get go.
Count Binface is a satirical political candidate created by the comedian Jon Harvey and who stood as a candidate for the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the 2019 United Kingdom general election against prime minister Boris Johnson.
In earlier elections, Harvey stood as Lord Buckethead, but was forced to change the name due to a copyright dispute with Todd Durham, who created the character for his 1984 science fiction film Hyperspace.
And in the London Mayoral election, that includes policies to rename London Bridge as Phoebe Waller-Bridge, have London join the EU, and most importantly, return the London Trocadero, smack bang in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, to hosting a world-class video arcade. That's what it was when I first came to London, and in the decades since it has become a tat-filled eyesore and then another cinema and another hotel. It could make the Trocadero great again and would draw folk like me back to the city centre, currently in dire need of footfall.
That neither Khan nor Bailey added that to their manifesto is a black mark against both their names. I'll be voting for the one with the best cycling policy. But if I were to be able to cycle into the Trocadero to play a variety of video games with friends, that would be the cherry on the top.
Here's the view of the local polling station from my driveway. If I don't vote, I need a really good excuse.