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May 01, 2011



Good message there - finally getting the points across instead of using stupid caricatures. But why did they use David Blunkett? He clearly wasn't comfortable speaking and his talking seemed laboured at times there.

Rob g

I think they used David Blunkett because the No camp will be pushing for Labour voters at the moment.


Or people who come second in leadership elections end up winning. #yes2AV What's not to like?


Let me state this VERY clearly. The £250 million figure is a mistruth, a misleading and unsubstantiated figure. It has no basis in fact. It is a diversion and a lie. #yes2AV What's not to like.


Weak, weak, weak.

Alistair Bull

Failed dinosaur in appeal to not change a system that he has benefited from shock

Y Rhyfelwr Dewr


Really, if the Yes campaign devoted as much energy to its case as it has to whining about the No campaign's effectiveness, it might be doing rather better. Your people's capacity for whinging is prodigious!

I've received one leaflet from both campaigns. The Yes campaign's leaflet was postcard-sized, simple black on white, and clearly cheaply and amateurishly done. The No campaign's leaflet was 4 pages long, three colours, in both English and Welsh (here in Wales, people like seeing the Welsh language used, even if they don't actually speak it themselves), presenting multiple arguments, and an overall more-professional production.

You'd have said it was clear where the money is, except I believe the Yes campaign has actually raised considerably more money than the No campaign. It's just the No campaign's money is being managed by professionals, and the Yes campaign is a bunch of amateurs with little idea of what they're doing.

If the £250 million figure is inaccurate (and I'm not convinced it is), that's just one argument. There's numerous other concerns and problems with AV. But instead of trying to counter them and reassure the public, all you people have done is whine immensely whenever the No campaign has drawn people's attention to the weaknesses of your position. Apart from anything else, nobody likes a whinger.

The Yes campaign has nobody to blame for the weakness of its position. You started with a wonderful lead, and lost it all to an opposition that was slow off the ground. Even at this late hour, you continue to whine. Don't you think you might do better to PROVE to us all that it's a lie, rather than expecting us just to take your word for it? That's been your essential strategy until now, and it really hasn't worked, has it?


Alistair - £130 million is the portion that the No campaign reckons will be need to install electronic counting machines but have provided no backup for that figure. AV does not need electronic counting machines. Even if it did the GLA recently completed a contract to count the 2012 elections electronically - in effect three complex elections covering a ninth of the UK electorate - for a cost of £3.6 million. 9*£3.6 = £32 million. But to repeat - AV does not need counting machines.
If we challenge mis-truths that is not whining. That is challenging. Saying AV will kill babies and leave our soldiers unprotected - that's whining. The choice voters will have to make is whether or not an MP should have the support of a majority or a plurality of her/his constituency. It is a very simple decision.


@Y Rhyfelwr Dewr

Well said. The yes campaign have been very negative purely because they're not liking the fact that they're losing the argument. Both sides have used dodgy arguments, and in all honesty it's been a dirty campaign.

The Liberals have tried to appear sanctimonious, but when it didn't work they cried out in pain and started mud slinging. Using the Thatcher argument and trying to persuade us that a grand coalition of the left (with the Liberals, Labour and Greens)is a good idea even for me a Labour member is repugnant.


Vote No2av if you want more of the same old same old - the politics of winner takes all (even it isn't theirs to take)

Vote Yes2av if you want to help bring in a new kind of politics - the politics of winner works with all - a politics of reaching out to more people


Read Cameron (the true head of the no2av campaign) & AV: http://bit.ly/kQyKb9

- AV is as simple as choosing a second pizza when the first is off. Stop patronising voters
- yeah right - so FPTP never gets any negative campaigning! We are not fools!
- AV is like a football match in 2 or 3 legs. Winner is decided by all three - not just 1st round
- FPTP candidates who get 3/10 to pass the electoral test. Not like any exams I know.
- if 'brutal decisiveness' means a party gaining power with a minority vote - that is too brutal!
- UK had more coalitions under FPTP than Aus has had under AV. Voters create coalitions not systems
- and with AV the Tories could have won the last election. Stop treating us like idiots!
- You mean democracy & justice has a price?! I can't believe you have even said that!
- under FPTP we don't all have an equal say. Votes 4 some parties count more than others
- "enshrined in our constitution" - ?!*%!! we don't have a constitution - we make it up as we go.
- A person is disenfranchised merely cos their 1st choice is MRLP? Some ppl are worth more than others?
- FPTP is a very old export - no sales in decades. Stupid argument!
- "hopelessly unclear, unfair and indecisive" that would be FPTP then! #yes2av
- next... are those the best arguments the leader of the #no2av camp can muster? Jeepers!


Y Rhyfelwr Dewr

@JonSHarvey: "are those the best arguments the leader of the #no2av camp can muster? Jeepers!"

Well, they seem pretty effective. Have you seen the latest polls?

All your points are weak, based on an assumption that there's something inherently wrong with FPTP. If one doesn't accept that -- and I don't -- your entire argument collapses.

You wonder why the Yes campaign is so far behind the No campaign?

Y Rhyfelwr Dewr

@AndrewBoff: "If we challenge mis-truths that is not whining."

It wouldn't be, if you challenged them (as you finally did in your 9.29 post). But half the time, you DON'T challenge them. You just complain about what a terrible lie it is.

For that matter, the Yes campaign is hardly innocent of negative campaigning. Its latest tactic is to urge people to vote Yes simply as a "Screw you" to David Cameron, or to damage the Conservative party so that it cannot hold government on its own again.

Forgive me, but I thought this was all about delivering fair votes, not political manoeuvring? What happened to "the national interest?"

southern softie

David Blunkett is a fine example of a man who has achieved high office despite his disabilities.An example to us all where talent and hard work can shine through despite a very humble start to life.


@ Y Rhyfelwr Dewr

Seriously - the PM of this country talks about "our constitution" - a GCSE politics student knows we don't have a constitution in this country.

And - in case you wondering - the people are yet to make their decision. You may well have to eat your words on Friday when a #yes2av vote is returned.

Or maybe not of course - the people may vote to keep FPTP - we will see... polls mean even less in this referendum where turnout in different parts of the country could well matter greatly. I think this is very unpredictable. The NO campaign may think they have it the bag - I am still hoping that enough people will see sense and vote for change rather than the same old same old. But do keep being triumphalist - as it may be your downfall...

What is inherently right about FPTP? What principle are your drawing on to make that assumption? Mine is clear - a person or government elected should be broadly representative of public opinion. FPTP clearly fails that test. Far too many national Governments rule as if they had 51% of the vote when they often have far, far less. That is simply and plainly undemocratic.

An MP can be elected with only 35% or less of the votes cast. How is that democratic?

Of course you will not see this as you will continue to talk on about the "person with the highest vote". But if that is the case - please explain to me why this Govt is introducing a preferential system for the new police crime commissioners? Why not FPTP? Really - why not FPTP if it is so democratic?


@southern softie

"David Blunkett is a fine example of a man who has achieved high office despite his disabilities.An example to us all where talent and hard work can shine through despite a very humble start to life"

And your point is? (Other than patronising David Blunkett)

Y Rhyfelwr Dewr

@JonSHarvey: "a GCSE politics student knows we don't have a constitution in this country"

Shows why Michael Gove's education reforms are needed. A B.Sc. student should know that every country has a constitution. We just don't have a written constitution like the USA. But a set of parameters wihtin which the government is required to operate within its adminstration of the country is contained within the law.

"What is inherently right about FPTP?"

As a general rule, it provides strong and stable government, and ensures that people who win the LEAST votes, like Nick Clegg, do not get to be kingmakers. It ensures that the policies of a party very few could be bothered to vote for (like the LibDems') do not get implemented. As a general rule.

It ensures that every election, as a general rule, is not followed by a period of horse trading in which potential ministers quietly drop their promises to the people in return for limousines and grace-and-favour mansions.

And it's simple to understand.

Best of all, it's the electoral system that a substantial portion of the population wants. Nobody wants AV: Or as Nick Clegg called it last year, "a miserable little compromise". As Roy Jenkins called it in 1998, "even less proportional than FPTP… [it] would fail to address several of the more significant defects of FPTP… its effects… are disturbingly unpredictable [and would] be unacceptably unfair to the Conservatives". As the Electoral Reform Society (they who stand to gain considerably from the adoption of AV) called it in 2008, "not a 'final destination' for British politics: The alternative vote is not proportional representation… our politics will not have the comprehensive overhaul it so desperately requires… many of the problems of unrepresentative government will remain."

If you're looking for the perfect system -- the one that will accurately reflect every vote cast and provide strong and stable government, then forget it. It doesn't exist. Nobody denies that FPTP has its imperfections, but so does AV, and AV's are much greater than FPTP's. FPTP's imperfections may make it unsuitable for every type of election, but so do AV's.

"You may well have to eat your words on Friday when a #yes2av vote is returned"

Maybe. But since the bookies Paddy Power have already started paying out on bets in favour of a No vote, and the Royal Wedding wiped out all coverage of the final weekend's campaigning, and Bin laden's death will wipe out all campaigning for the rest of the week, I suspect we're safe enough.


"An MP can be elected with only 35% or less of the votes cast. How is that democratic?"

and clambering over 50% (and indeed in many cases not even doing that!) on the backs of sloppy seconds and thirds from the BNP and other fringe parties is democratic?? What a load of tripe.

and I see the lies from the Yes Campaign are still for all to see..it's like X-Factor - LIE (X-Factor uses a series of FPTP elections)..the Tories use it for their leadership contests - LIE (they use a series of FPTP elections)

This is a LIB DEM project designed to ensure that we have constant Coalitions with the Lib Dems always in Power.

AV for BNP and other fringe party voters = we're sorry you support unpopular parties..here have another go..and what's more your 3rd preference will carry the same weight as someone else's first preference

AV for Mainstream Voters = your preferences won't be counted..that's your punishment for voting for popular parties (Research shows that in 7 out of 10 constituencies at the last GE, voters of the 3 mainstream parties would not have had ANY preferences counted!!)

AV - Bonkers..the Loser's system


Y Rhyfelwr Dewr

@Clement: "a grand coalition of the left (with the Liberals, Labour and Greens)is a good idea even for me a Labour member is repugnant"

Well, I disagree profoundly with your politics, but I support you 100 percent on that point. I would never sanction a political system that left the Tories in permanent power either. That's a very bad way to run a country. As we saw under Thatcher / Major and Brown, government tends to become arrogant, corrupt, dictatorial and out of touch after about ten years, and needs a period of opposition to allow new blood and ideas to take over. A government with no realistic prospect of losing power is one that has no need to uphold the interests of the people.


David Blunkett is an MP so he knows full well that AV is compatible with "one person, one vote". He knows this because it is used, entirely without controversy, to elect the chairs of select committees. And a variant of AV is used to elects the Speaker. Why no angry cries for "one MP, one vote"?

It's also disappointing to see the No campaign still quoting the £250 million figure, even though it was discredited weeks ago.

There are actually some valid arguments to be made against AV. But none of them appear in this video.


The cost of an AV election is understated at £250 million and is now £300 million.
The recent census cost £500 million.

Y Rhyfelwr Dewr


Different voting systems convey different benefits and weaknesses. No system is perfect, and just because a system may be appropriate for one kind of election does not make it apprpriate for every election.

The decision of what electoral system to use sould be determined by what the election is intended to achieve. An administrator such as the speaker (who is not elected using AV, and a "variant" of AV is not AV, by definition), whose primary task is to engineer a concensus, will find his task easier if he enjoys a majority of opinion.

The primary purpose of a general election is to create a strong and stable government, which the nation recognises is legitimate and has a right to exercise its power, but which can subsequently be ejected from power when it ceases to serve the interests of the people.

This must be AV's biggest weakness of all. It will almost certainly result in more coalitions, which are always weak. Enabling a candidate to assume power, despite receiving fewer first-preference votes than his opponent, is unlikely to be regarded by the people as legitimate and a right to exercise power. There is a very real danger that AV would result in a permanent Labour/LibDem coalition, that would be all but impossible to eject from power -- Between Major and Brown, we've all seen how governments can stay too long and need a period in opposition.

AV may well have advantages (although, from what I've seen, probably fewer than most other voting systems) that make it appropriate for some types of election, but it simply does not achieve what we want from a general election.

Cllr Peter Pragnell

My basic argument remains "Let the winner win". Everything else is unfair and unjust.


@Y Rhyfelwr Dew,

But that is not the argument being made by the no campaign. They say that AV is contrary to the "the fundamental principle of one person, one vote". If that were true then AV would not be acceptable for any kind of election. They're not saying ranking preferences is unsuitable for certain elections, they're saying it's contrary to basic democracy.

Yet this supposedly fundamentally undemocratic system is used by the politicians themselves, to elect the chairs of select committees, the speaker of the Lords, the deputy speaker of the Commons, etc. Tory and Labour governments have also introduce preferential voting in Northern Ireland and for mayoral elections in England.

So they know very well that they are talking rubbish.


@Cllr Peter Pragnell

You must be intelligent enough to realise that that isn't an argument. It's begging the question.

Under every voting system "the winner wins".

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