Monday, 18 April 2011

Both AV camps take voters for fools

I used my postal ballot today to vote ‘No’ in the Alternative Vote referendum. My decision was not made any easier by leaflets from both camps in this morning’s post, which underestimated the intelligence of voters.
Celebrity endorsement took up most of one and iffy propositions the other.
I’m sure Joanna Lumley, Eddie Izzard, Colin Firth, Honor Blackman, Stephen Fry, and Benjamin Zephaniah mean well but I couldn’t give a damn that they are supporting a ‘Yes’ vote on May 5th.
The much glitzier ‘No’ literature undermined its case by claiming the cost of AV is £250 million, which is patently not true.
It devotes another page to attacking the broken promises of Deputy Prime Minister and LibDem leader Nick Clegg, who favours AV.
It might as well have mentioned the PM David Cameron, who is leading the ‘No’ campaign, has reneged on a manifesto pledge to protect the NHS.
I spelled out my position in my April 4th post ‘Wake up and vote ‘No’ to AV on May 5th’ and it hasn’t shifted much since then. That is except to say I’ve come to the conclusion proportional representation has much more merit in challenging first past the post. PR makes AV look a shoddy compromise in comparison.
Although voting ‘No’, it is not from a position of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” There are serious flaws in our present voting system – jobs-for-life safe seats and all the rest.
It’s that the ‘Yes’ camp hasn’t made its case for the leap of faith required to abandon a simple electoral procedure that has operated in the UK for centuries.

PS Since writing the above post the London Evening Standard has announced its support for the 'No' campaign advising readers to vote against a "flawed, unwanted, unnecessary piece of tinkering with our constitution."

2 comments:

  1. The No vote 'appears' to be hardening. What future for the Lib/Dem element in the coalition and perhaps for the coalition itself if the electorate fail to endorse AV? [Jaffa].

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Jaffa. Cameron will have to prop up Clegg by making some policy concessions the LibDems can take credit for. By the way, I'm fed up hearing the 'Yes' camp bang on about BNP supporting 'No'. It only does so because it favours PR - like the LibDems. GC

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What do you think? GC