22 February 2011

The No2AV Campaign Has Been So Negative

I think the Yes Campaign for AV has been very positive. It has argued for AV whereas the No Campaign has tried to avoid talking about electoral systems at all.

If you just compare and contrast AV and FPTP I think it becomes quite clear which is better. Forget all this made up guff about hijacking royal weddings, unconstitutional to have a referendum at same time as local elections, the cost or AV being too complicated - so we are thicker than Australians? Or the people of Chicago? Or countless other US cities?

The Labour party has used AV for decades, so too trade unions and countless other bodies. The Tories have used AV or a close cousin also for decades, David Cameron would have lost if FPTP had been used to elect their leader. Politicians use it to elect their own because they know it is more representative, yet they want to deny us the same voting system they use.

The No campaign claim it will cost millions for new machines, but neglect to mention the millions that will be saved in less counting clerks. If Ireland can afford a 1,2,3 system I think anywhere can.

Also because the system of AV being proposed doesn't require you to rank all the candidates, you can just vote for one candidate as at present. So this is all about denying people the 'choice' or 'opportunity' to use AV, they don't have to. They can just carry on voting as at present and having it count the same way as at present even when AV is introduced.

At the end of the day, the majority of people now want a choice of more than just 2 old parties, and AV gives them the chance to at least show who their real first preferences are, if nothing else.

No more negative campaigning and leaflets saying 'don't vote for your first choice because it might let in your most hated choice'. This adds nothing to our political debate. David Cameron used examples of BNP or Monster Raving Loony voters being able to influence the result with their further preferences, but imagine being a Tory in Margaret Hodge's constituency and having to give your first and ONLY preference to Labour because you want to stop the BNP. AV gets rid of this nonsense. Basically everybody gets a chance for their vote to be counted and for their ONE vote to have an influence on the result rather than just being wasted and ignored under FPTP.

David Cameron mentions 1997 and possibly 1983 as examples where big majorities might have been bigger under AV, but doesn't mention that EVERY other election probably would have given a more proportional result!

In short, every negative argument the No Campaign have come up with can be countered easily.

With the polls neck and neck if you ask the question actually on the ballot paper or the Noes 10% or 20% ahead if you believe their polls published regularly in the rightwing press which start with a leading question that slags AV off (see they can't even be honest about their polling), then not enough people are hearing the real debate about which system is more democratic.

If people do get to hear the arguments I have no doubt the YES campaign would win easily. It is time to get out there and argue our case, otherwise this chance at change I have waited all my life for will be lost until the next generation.

Win AV and the next logical step is to change local elections, with each ward electing 2-3 councillors, AV is impossible it would have to be the more proportional STV.

Win STV for local government and....Now you can see how AV will bring us step by step closer to a much more proportional and representative parliament, and all the extra benefits that brings to long term planning and equality (See Scandanavia, Germany etc.)

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