2 May 2011

Why the 'head-shaking stupidity' of the No campaign is winning me over to voting Yes to AV


According to the No campaign

AV is costly
The change to AV will cost up to an additional £250 million. Local councils would have to waste money on costly electronic vote counting machines and expensive voter education campaigns. With ordinary families facing tough times can we really afford to spend a quarter of a billion pounds of taxpayers' money bringing in a new voting system? Schools and hospitals, or the Alternative Vote – that's the choice in this referendum.

AV is complex and unfair
The winner should be the candidate that comes first, but under AV the candidate who comes second or third can actually be elected. That’s why it is used by just three countries in the world – Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Voters should decide who the best candidate is, not the voting system. We can't afford to let the politicians off the hook by introducing a loser's charter.


The No campaign are winning me towards a Yes to AV vote, despite my scepticism that AV will lead to PR and my concern to break the coalition, I have been astonished by the sub-tabloid stupidity of the campaign.

The cost argument is astonishing. As the Economist notes, its an argument that might be used by Gadaffi, democracy is too expensive for the people of Tripoli:

This blog has grumbled in earlier postings about the head-shaking stupidity of some of the national campaign posters, such as the No2AV offering that suggests that the country cannot afford to spend £250m on a new voting system because soldiers need new bullet proof vests, without any further discussion of whether AV might or might not be a good way to elect a parliament.


MORE HERE

Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea....its just a slur against foreigners and how many countries embrace 'first past the post'?

An election is not a horse race, its about representation.

Oh and Australia has had AV for 90 years without using''expensive counting machines'.

Well in Australia it has not led to proportional representation or more than one member of parliament for the Green Party but its hardly been a disaster.

Equally the complexity argument is absurd, you just number from one downwards your preferences....and of course, if you just want to vote for your top preference alone you are not forced to number other candidates....the association between the BNP who oppose AV with AV made by the No Campaign is also absurd as fact checker notes here:

AV is highly unlikely to help the BNP win any seats, and the secondary votes of BNP supporters alone wouldn’t swing a seat for any other party – going on last year’s results.

In fact, in a very divided constituency, the BNP arguably has a better chance of winning a seat under First Past the Post than under AV.

As an AV sceptic I am being won over for AV by the no campaign....clearly the right in Britain don't want AV which seems as good a reason as any for supporting AV

Oh and some excellent points on the 'head shaking stupidity of the No campaign' from another another green here.

This from Matt is interesting and disturbing click here:

And the case for AV is summed up here by Kaila:

I think that, even though it isn't PR, and is still a bit rubbish, it's still so much better than FPTP and we need even miniscule and not-perfect change to kickstart the reform revolution.

9 comments:

Steve_Barker said...

What clinched it for me is living in a Labour run town, where the Tories and Lib Dems are just about bothering to field local election candidates (barely more than existing councillors).

I live in a two Councillor ward.
Labour has two candidates, Tories one and BNP one. This means the BNP could look as though it has support; yet the Tories have not even bothered leafleting for the locals but are out leafleting against AV!

Elliot Folan said...

Hooray Derek! :)

Hopefully a majority of voters feel the same way on May 5. Here's hoping!

George Potter said...

I'd suggest that a Yes vote would be far more likely to break the coalition than a No.

If it's a No then the Lib Dems will have nowhere to go with such low poll ratings and be forced to cling to the coalition in the hope it gets better.

If it's a Yes then the tory backbenchers will erupt in fury and we could probably see a rebellion against Cameron as they would see them as a man who failed to win an election and who lost the referendum.

Mike said...

There have been some pretty wild claims made by both sides about AV. In reality it is such a tiny change, that it makes next to no difference to FTPT, except complicating the outcome for the voters.

Politically, I think the weak point in the coalition govt is the Lib Dems, and they want this so badly, because one thing everyone agrees on is that it is good for them. The best chance of ending the coalition govt, is for LD activists to put pressure on the leadrship to pull out of the coalition.

The Whig press has caught onto this recently and is trying to say a yes will weaken the Tories and end the coalition. And pigs might fly.

Vote no, put the pressure on Clegg.

Mike Shaughnessy said...

There have been some pretty wild claims made by both sides about AV.

This is such a tiny change that it makes next to no difference, except keeping the ConDems in govt forever, and complicating the outcome for voters.

Politically, I want to see the Lib Dems smashed, as they are the weak point in the coalition, and this gives the best chance of the coalition ending early, so I'll be voting no.

This is such a dreary issue though, hardly anyone but politico anoraks are interested it, London may have less than 15% turn out.

Anonymous said...

There have been some pretty wild claims made by both sides about AV.

This is such a tiny change that it makes next to no difference, except keeping the ConDems in govt forever, and complicating the outcome for voters.

Politically, I want to see the Lib Dems smashed, as they are the weak point in the coalition, and this gives the best chance of the coalition ending early, so I'll be voting no.

This is such a dreary issue though, hardly anyone but politico anoraks are interested it, London may have less than 15% turn out.

Anonymous said...

both the no and the yes camapigns are pretty bad seeing one would make you want to vote the opposite way. i do worry that av is a system for making it easier to punish people you dont like and is therefore almost a pure oposite of pr. the right are using av as a referendum on opening up politics and an anti-state agenda and that is unfortunate james?

Kaii said...

Hi! As you already know I concur with this post as you quoted me, and I'd, but I'd like to just ask- how/why did you read my post/blog? I'm quite surprised when my friends read it! Also, my name is Kaii, just for your information, not kaila :-)

Peter Cranie said...

When the political establishment lines up against something, it can be a very good indicator that they fear further change will follow.

With just a few exceptions, Labour in Liverpool, who are likely to hold over 2/3rds of the seats here after May 5th, are happy to defend a system that will keep them absolutely dominant for a generation here.