Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Are We AV-ing a Proper Debate ?

Those opposed to the introduction of the Alternative Vote (AV) have drawn encouragement from two polls, one from ICM and another from YouGov, which have shown a previous strong advantage for the "Yes" vote wiped out and now the "No" side opening up a substantial lead (43-32, I think) as the referendum draws closer on May 5th.

Unfortunately, the well-financed "No" camp has already resorted to negative campaigning and downright lies to further its case and obviously, in lieu of having no substantive argument to offer, are going wholly on an anti-Clegg ticket mixed with innuendo and disingenuous messages.

One such, running on poster sites on A13 (strangely the same ones used by the Conservatives during last year's election campaign), witters on about how the £250 million it will apparently cost to introduce and run the AV system (no mention of how this figure is arrived at) could be better spent on providing body armour for soldiers and maternity care.

This kind of emotive slush and garbage is what the "No" camp offers as argument and the "Yes" camp needs to fight back and quickly. Of course, money can always be better spent but if we follow the "No" camp's argument, we would never hold any elections at all as we could always justify the expense somewhere else.

I'm not a huge fan of AV and there are plenty of scenarios which can be devised which make it as bad if not worse than STV but now I've seen the odious campaigning tactics of the "No" campaign, I'm determined to vote "Yes" just in order to rub the noses of reactionary and small-minded people like Tim Montgomerie who is unelected, unaccountable and sees himself as the keeper of the Thatcherite flame, in the dirt.

Vote "Yes" on May 5th.

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