Sunday 17 April 2011

AV : Who to Screw?

Having read endless arguments for and against AV, going back well before last year's election, I would still say my opinion is largely "meh"

"Wottevver" also sums it up pretty well. If for any strange reason you wanted to know more of my opinion than "meh" or "wottevver" then reading both Mark Ferguson at Labour List and Emma Burnell on the subject pretty much translates my "meh" into an intelligent argument.

As ever, we're presented with an enormous fudge - politicians giving just enough leeway to pretend something is really up for debate, when actually the debate ought to be "Why is STV or full PR not on the table?" AV won't really change much, except we might end up with a few more "least hated" politicians rather than the "most liked" ones.

Yay *quiet party-blower fizzles out*

Instead, if I'm really really honest, the debate probably comes down to "who to screw?"

For the first time I can recall, I find myself agreeing with Andrew Rawnsley

Do I want to watch Nick Clegg face a furious brigade of  yoghurt-knitters on the morning of 6th May? Do I want them to start wondering exactly why they're tolerating the popularity levels of Gaddafi at a street party, if they can't even win the tiniest and fudgiest of electoral reform prizes?

Or, do I want to see a nervous tic appear just below David Cameron's botoxed forehead? Do I want to witness Tory backbenchers join the queue to point out that not only could Cameron not win them an election, but now he's ensured they may never win one outright again? Rightly or wrongly, the Tories believe that any kind of electoral reform will finish them off. A delicious leftie thought for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

After careful consideration, I will always want to screw Tories. (Obviously, metaphorically, not literally - shudder at the thought.) I have a sneaking suspicion that those Tories who detest Cameron have sharper teeth than those Lib Dems furious with Clegg. I might see more fireworks if "Yes" to AV wins. I love a bit of political brutality. If the AV referendum is good for nothing else, it could at least provide me with a week or so of political intrigue and maybe even the odd scalp or two.

Having felt that I was leaning towards voting "No" I might just have to think again.....


  1. I'm going for Yes, because otherwise they *will* pretend that the no vote means no-one's interested in electoral reform. Also, yes, I wish to annoy the Tories.

  2. All the Murdoch papers and the Mail group are vehemently against AV and will no doubt be printing more and more scare-mongering rubbish before May 6th.

    Also, Cameron said today that the system was so complicated that only a handful of number crunchers in Westminster could understand it! Would they be the ones that had the right sort of education, unlike the rest of us plebs.

    The chance to get up the nose of the right wing press as well as make Cameron squirm makes a vote for "Yes" a delicious proposition. Nick Clegg is a busted flush whatever happens.

  3. I shall (if I get my voting paper on time) vote YES because I am in the minority of those who think AV is better than both First Past the Post AND PR (which I dislike) My fear is that many will take the view that whatever Ramsay Mac Clegg votes for must be wrong - I wish he would just disappear and make life easier.

  4. Hiya Sue

    I do agree that AV is a poor relation to true PR but at least with aV you can put your number 1 next to your true first choice be it Labour in Surrey or some minor party, virtually ending the need to vote tactically, hopefully giving us a better idea of parties true support.

  5. I totally agree with every word you say Sue.

    I know I should hate Clegg more than I hate Cameron; after all Cameron is pretty much what it says on the tin. He and his likes consider people like us some sort of sub-species. They really don’t give a shit what happens to us, as long as their bread is made and their cars services, their clothes cleaned and [pressed and their Wisteria cleared from chimneys, preferably at our expense!

    Clegg on the other hand is a lying heap of crap. He’s supposed to be a Liberal.. and he’s not.

    But no matter how hard I try I just can’t make myself hate him MORE than I hate Cameron.

    I want to see Cameron broken. I want his right wingers to cut his balls off, and I want him to go down in history as the Eton boy who got dumped by the Tory party after a year of government because the Botox they have injected into his wrinkles on a daily basis has now got into his brain and paralysed it.

    Just because you can afford daily Botox injections, doesn’t mean they are good for you.

  6. What sets the Tories apart is the sheer *glee* with which they cut. New Labour had a lot of the same plans, and their santimonious and superior manner seemed calculated to make the blood boil. But the Conservatives get *pleasure* from inflicting pain on the "lower classes". Their manner when cheering each other on makes them look like they're on horseback, galloping after some unfortunate furry animal to kill. I'd rather my blood boil than run cold.

  7. I have a suspicion that they deliberately chose AV as it is so complicated, that it will confuse people enough to vote "no" and then they can say, no one wanted to change it. And even if it does go through, people will be so confused when the next election comes round, that they may vote what they didn't want, and that will be Tory. In Germany we have a mix of PR and AV, but they teach us for 3 years in school how it all works...can't see that happening here.

  8. As someone who grew up with AV I am going to be doing a YES vote. When a community can be ignored by having an elected representative with less than 50% of the vote it is time to change. Why not when so many are choosing not to participate in the electoral system cause they believe that their vote wont make a difference?? Let make our votes make a difference with a system which at least uses our vote constructively to help remove those candidates who we don't want.