Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vote Yes To Fairer Votes Or This Dog Goes Hungry

Let me introduce you to Buster.

Doesn't look very happy, does he? No, he doesnt. In fact, he's so miserable, he's put a plastic bag on his head.

Do you know why he's so unhappy? I can tell you. But it'll shock you.

Incredible though it may seem, there are EVIL-DOERS in this country who actually think silly, self-indulgent poster campaigns against electoral reform are more important than HAPPY DOGS.

It's true. According to reliable estimates from my mate Dave down the pub, the 'No to AV' campaign are spending a staggering FIVE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-FOUR TRILLION POUNDS on glossy ads that aim to convince us that the introduction of a preferential voting system will somehow destroy the lives of newborn babies, or lead to the deaths of brave soldiers in Afghanistan.

Five hundred and eighty-four trillion pounds. Just think about that number. Five hundred and eighty-four trillion pounds could buy Buster an awful lot of Pedigree Chum.

This country needs HAPPY DOGS not SILLY POSTERS.

For Buster's sake, say Yes to AV on May 5th.

Thankyou for listening, and God bless you all.


  1. I want the referendum to have a "Meh" option, as I couldn't care less about changing a non-PR system into another non-PR system. I might vote if they do that.

    As it stands, an "INDEPENDENCE" spoiled vote is still my chosen option. It would be interesting, however, to see how many people would pick a "Meh" option if they could. I bet it would get more than the "Yes" and "No" options. Possibly more than both combined, even.

  2. Doug, if you'd asked me a couple of years ago, I might have said something similar. But although the lack of proportionality is by far the biggest defect of first-past-the-post and AV will do nothing to rectify it, there are other important defects that AV will in fact address (for instance by allowing people to vote for their preferred candidate without effectively disenfranchising themselves).

    So the more I've reflected on it, the more I've realised that in a straight choice between first-past-the-post and AV, it really has to be AV. I agree it's a deeply uninspiring choice, though.

  3. There's so much wrong with Westminster though - the voting system, the unelected upper chamber, even the confrontational nature of the actual chambers with their opposite-facing benches - that I just think I'd rather concentrate on independence.

    Look at it this way - it's taken so long to even get an alternative to FPTP on the table, how much longer will it be before PR comes along? It seems the main argument in favour of AV is that if the referendum returns a NO vote, then PR will never be on the cards as it will look like the country is happy with FPTP. AV may lead the way to PR eventually, but I can't see that happening before Scotland becomes independent. It's of no consequence to me what system England uses to elect its centre-right governments once Scotland is independent, so I'm not really bothered if AV wins or not.

    Sometimes I think I want AV to win, just to annoy the Tories and old Labour idiots; other times, I want AV to lose just to see what happens with the Lib Dems, and also to annoy those people who have been annoying ME with their emails that try to lecture to me that AV is in some way a far superior system to FPTP, when it's merely a slightly lesser of two evils.

    Besides, AV just seems like a way of legitimising tactical voting to me - you can have minority parties as your first five votes, but it's still going to come down to whichever of Labour, Tories or Lib Dems you've ranked highest that determines who wins the seat. It's like being given a menu at a restaurant that has some really appealing dishes on it, but when you come to choose your course, the waiter keeps saying "sorry, you can't actually have that one" until you get to the two least attractive options and pick the slightly less horrible one, with the waiter saying "good choice, sir!", even though the reality is you had sod all choice. I just wonder if it's a bit more honest and less disappointing to be given a menu that already has "not available" written beside all the better dishes, so you know straight away that you only have the two worst ones to choose from?

    What I just wrote could be nonsense.

  4. I remain in the "penis-drawing" camp.

  5. Doug:

    I thought that what you wrote was far from nonsense. It sort of relects the way I feel. I was seriously tempted to write PR on my form, or independence... but who will know I did it, unless there is a huge campaign and a quarter of all papers are thus ruined?

    So in the end I decided that I'd vote for the guy whom I dislike less than the other.

    And for all his duplicity and ripping up of principles for a seat at the cabinet table, it is sill Nick Clegg.

    Now I detest Nick Clegg, so that should show you how I feel about Cameron.

    Yes, I want Cameron humiliated. I want him to lose to Nick Clegg, the stupid out-of-touch stuck up Eton boy.

    Is that silly, or what?

  6. If it's any consolation, Tris, it sounds like you'll be on the same side as Alex Salmond - a report in the Scotsman a few days ago suggested he'd be voting Yes (albeit with minimal enthusiasm).

  7. Well James, that's a happy coincidence. I did think of asking someone what the SNP line was on it. Not that I'd feel any obligation to follow it, but I’d be interested to find out if their strategists felt that AV would make any difference to their seat numbers. I read somewhere it wouldn’t, and actually, unless it was going to make a vast difference that wouldn’t much influence me.

    It’s good to know Eck is going the same way. Maybe he dislikes Cameron even more than Clegg too!