#AndyPayne 38: Alternative Votester

Posted on April 19, 2011 by

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I am actually really gutted that I have not made the consistent effort to keep up with the #oneadayproject, there are loads of excuses but none of them really matter at all. It has been a really busy and rather interesting time between March 9th and today, April 19th. Forty one, yes forty one days of being lazy, however interesting things have been.

So here is my attempt at getting back on track, well sort of. I am attempting a daily blog about the Alternative Vote referendum that is set to take place on May 5th. Very much the battle of the  #Yes2AV or #No2AV camps. At this juncture, I will declare that I am instinctively supportive of the Yes2AV team, although that is based on my sometimes fanciful and romantic view of democracy.  But there are loads and loads of pros and cons for both arguments, not least that it seems that no one ACTUALLY really believes in the AV system! Even Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister who is a key figure in the #Yes2AV campaign referred to AV as ‘a miserable little compromise’ 2 weeks before last May’s General Election.

So, by way of the first short but sweet ‘things to consider about AV’  how about this one. If no one really believes in the AV system surely it is a shoe-in that the #No2AV campaign will walk the vote and few will actually turn up to vote in the first place?

So given that we should all use our vote, something that is our democratic right and our responsibility, it seems like we are turning up to vote on an issue and that is a waste of money, right?

Well wrong actually. The ConDem Coalition like to think that they know a thing or two about cost cutting and they cunningly agreed to run the Referendum on electoral reform which was a key cornerstone of the Coalition negotiations on the same day, May 5th,  as local elections will take place on in 279 English local authorities. Elections will also be held on the same day to the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales and Northern Ireland Assembly. In Northern Ireland, elections to the existing 26 local councils are also due to be held the same day. So at least extra cash has not be spent allowing us to cast our vote.

Any money spent will be spent by the respective campaigns on advertising literature both on and off line and broadcasts that attempt to sway the undecided. I am reliably informed the Government will not be paying for any of this.

So conclusion number 1 is:-

The Referendum on AV will not cost the country any extra cash. This feels right to me. A tick in the box and we are off to a flyer.

That is not to say that either side will not use economic arguments to get their point across though. More on Baroness Warsi’s ‘Election Counting Machines’ next 😉

Until tomorrow. Hopefully.

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Posted in: Andy Payne