AV: the Party shouldn't take sides
I'm a big supporter of AV - the Alternative Vote system as used in Australia.
To be more accurate I'm a supporter of proportional representation - which AV isn't - i.e. an electoral system where the share of seats you get directly relates to the share of vote. I'd prefer AV+ (single member AV seats with a "top-up" of list seats to make the overall share of seats equal to share of votes, basically the German system).
But I'll be voting for AV in the referendum next May because whilst it isn't proportional it is a significant improvement on the medieval First-Past-the-Post voting system we have now. It does increase voter choice (you rank candidates rather than voting with an "X"), there are fewer wasted votes that don't affect the outcome, and every MP has to get majority support in their seat rather than being able to get in on a small share if there is a 3 or 4-way split.
I've consistently backed electoral reform since I joined Labour in 1988. Indeed back in the day when I was in NOLS (Labour Students) it was the main issue I campaigned on inside the Party, perhaps a tad too obsessively if my memory of getting up at 6am to annoy Tom Watson (then a big FPTP man now I think an AVer) by putting Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform flyers on seats in some conference hall.
But I don't agree with calls like this - http://www.leftfootforward.org/2010/11/labour-should-campaign-on-av/ -for Labour to allocate Party resources and campaign for a Yes vote in the referendum.
As with Europe in 1975 the dividing line on this issue cuts through Labour. There are good comrades of mine who are just as passionate about keeping FPTP as I am about abolishing it.
I could no more expect or force them to deliver Labour leaflets calling for a Yes vote than they could get me to deliver No ones.
The beauty of a referendum is that individual Labour people who care about the issue on either side can campaign they way they believe (though hopefully not getting too distracted from the vitally important Scottish, Welsh and local elections on the same day) without there having to be a knife fight about which side the Party's scarce resources are used to back.
I hope Ed Miliband campaigns for a Yes vote. I will be backing him. But I hope the Labour Party per se stays neutral and focuses on the other campaigns on 5th May.