Just one example . . . . .
I have just received the no to av campaign’s leaflet which beggars belief and goes hand in hand with the lies and ridiculous nature of their argument.
As the poster above indicates, most of their arguments do not debate the merits of both systems of voting, but rather spuriously equates a fictitious amount of money that no one has ever stated will cost to have AV as a system of voting and buying equipment for soldiers or saving a child’s life. It is all very sad.
The notoav leaflet begins by stating that £130 million will be spent on electronic voting machines – totally untrue, as was the Prime Minister’s assertions that somehow there was a conflict of interest between the Electoral Reform Society and it making money from supplying voting machines and funding a part of the YES campaign.
Ordinarily it would be the Conservatives who would be saying “what’s wrong with making money?”, but of course, there is no conflict of interest anyway as no voting machines are needed for AV as Australia have confirmed for the past 80 years! Both the Prime Minister and George Osborne were not only factually incorrect but cynical to the lowest point.
Then the leaflet continues stating a price for the referendum itself – which will of course cost the same if we vote yes or no. The next figure is £26 million on explaining the new system – and the sum total for this is . . .er . . yes one leaflet explaining it. Hardly a dramatic waste of money.
But then the leaflet goes on to try to make out that the votes of the least popular candidate can decide who wins the election. But should that not always be the case anyway?? What they fail to mention is that in any general election most peoples vote does not count at all, only with AV more vote will count towards the decision of who wins the seat. When at the last election only 460,000 people in marginal constituencies decided the election, it shows the crisis our democracy is in.
There is also a helpful map showing the 3 countries that have AV. It fails to mention that the mayoral elections in London also use AV as does the Labour party leadership election. It also fails to mention that the rest of the map does not have FPTP and that another system very similar to AV called the run-off voting system which is where you have a ballot and if no one gets 50% you eliminate the last candidate and everyone votes again. This is system is very similar to AV but is more time consuming and costs a lot more. yet a surprising number of countries use this form of election. With at least 60 countries around the world using the run-off system to elect its parliament or President/Prime Minister.
Surely, this idea that just because a few countries use your preferred system is not a reason not to use it. Indeed the question is not even about whether it is our preferred system but whether it is better than the current FPTP system.
The truth about AV is that it gives each voter more choice, which if you believed the rhetoric of the Conservative government in nearly every policy they talk about, you would think they would approve of it! It allows you to either just vote for one candidate as in FPTP; to not vote at all; or to rank the candidates in order of preference. In other words YOU chose.
The no to av campaign has continued to use spurious statements and downright lies to get it’s cynical message across and now it seems that this is working.
New evidence shows that the no campaign is ahead in the polls by 16%. Very depressing reading for anyone wanting more accountability and democracy in this country. What really depressed me however, was a phone in on 5 Live I heard the other morning debating AV. People ringing up saying they agreed with AV but that they wanted to “teach Mr Clegg a lesson”. I wonder who was using his family braincell that day. Then another caller who stated, “I can’t vote for AV because I am a true blue”.
Lets be clear, the only people that want the status quo of FPTP want unlimited power to a small amount of people and do not believe in democracy or accountability. Just look at the actions of this government so far, with the reduction of MP’s while maintaining the amount of ministers; who have appointed more than 100 Lords to the House of Lords, an unelected chamber or quango; then there is the cap on council tax when if they really believed in accountability they would let the people decide by ousting councils who put it up too much.
There is only one game in town when it comes to AV – if you believe in democracy and accountability you vote yes – if you want a 2 party system with safe seats and unaccountability you vote no.