So in a few hours people to start to vote on what we’re told is the most important matter for generations, how we get to pick our corrupt troughing MP’s every 5 years. They’ve generously given us the choice between no change or the absolutely smallest change possible. Though of course if we change to AV it would kill off any chance of introducing the real changes we need, as AV will have to be given a chance – 50 years or more to work out the bugs and let people get used to it (so goodbye to right to recall or anything useful like that). I’m afraid the stick we’re being offered is shitty at both ends.
Oddly this has led to a very poor campaign, the only bit of canvassing I’ve seen is a “No to AV” leaflet, didn’t even get the government guide to what the choices were. Unsurprisingly this doesn’t seem to have led to the most enlightened debate amongst the people I know, with some people claiming to have decided which way to vote just because one side at one point made a personal attack on someone on the other side. Now whilst that might be a good reason not to support a candidate or a party, the two choices we’re being given aren’t actually affected by how the campaigns are run.
Likewise what are we to make of a campaign that claims it’s for fairer votes, and thus increased democracy who’s campaigners put forward that AV will keep specific parties out of power. I mean just how little sense does that make:
Vote for fairer votes and make sure these parties I don’t like never get in
Surely that’s a reduction in democracy? As the standard says both sides have talked profound crud. The No to AV’s biggest bit of crud of course being to claim it’s far too complex.
Of course the AV side it ends tactical voting, which is also patent bollocks it may end first preference tactical voting – if we’re lucky. But that will only be because people know they can “waste” their first vote and then vote tactically on their second vote (as long as they’ve confident the people they don’t like won’t get in on the first round). The various choose a pub or go for coffee stuff put together by the AV side dumbing it down to the levels, where you have to suspect they agree with the No2AV side in thinking that it is all too complex for use poor proles. Likewise the idea that AV ensures that whoever wins must have got over 50% of the vote, is a simplification and only always true if everyone has to put a preference for all candidates otherwise it’s still possible for the winner to get in on a minority of votes so no change there then.
So as news thump says we shortly get to vote on which system is least shit, for when once every five years we randomly pick who’s going to steal from us for the next five years – having just been conned into thinking changing how we elect them will make any difference to their behaviour when we’ve still got no way to get rid of them.
I shall leave the last words on this false choice between two options chosen for us not by us ( I’d rather have a referendum on egtting out of the EU, or being able to recall MPS, myself) to Archbishop Cranmer:
“Tomorrow the UK is holding its second national referendum in its history. And this one is even more flawed than the first. In 1975, we were asked whether or not we wished to remain a member of the EEC, which we had joined two years earlier. That referendum ought, of course, to have preceded the selling of our birthright and the ‘pooling’ of our sovereignty: the retrospective plebiscite was more about uniting a fractious and fractured Labour Party than genuinely seeking a democratic mandate for winding back a thousand years of history. At least this time we are being asked in advance whether or not we wish to adopt the AV electoral system.”
Update Sorry I lied as I really must point you at an excellent piece over at Harry’s place about how pointless this tinkering with the system is.