You're AVin' a larff, Nick.

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You're AVin' a larff, Nick.

Postby Captain Darling » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:01 pm

Professor Robert Winston is voting 'No'.

Eddie Izzard is voting 'Yes'.

Need I say more?
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Re: You're AVin' a larff, Nick.

Postby mat » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:22 pm

There are heavyweights on both sides of the argument. One still has to make up one's own mind about the kind of political system created by AV versus the ridiculous system we have right now that tends towards a two-party race thus forcing the electorate to take one of two polar opposite positions on any given issue, instead of finding the party that suits their views the best on as many issues as possible.

FPTP may have been a good idea in the era immediately after the war where a good degree of decisiveness and unilateralism was beneficial, or for a country recovering from some kind of catastrophe. But it's absolutely rubbish at representing the modern, pluralist electorate we have today.

The advantage of FPTP is that it increases the instances of majority government. Great, except that doesn't really prove anything - as the previous election showed. We still got a hung parliament.

In response to that election, this government is showing perfectly well that coalitions don't actually hinder the chance of decisive government. (Whether you agree with the hard and fast public services cuts or not, you definitely have to agree - it's decisive.)

My personal beef with FPTP is that I feel my vote is wasted in every single election. I feel personally cheated actually. In the 2005 election, 70% of votes were wasted votes. I am extremely emotional about the process of voting, I believe it is an important expression of my humanity, and I believe I am being denied the right to have my vote counted fairly because of this issue. It makes me absolutely incandescent.

Glad I've got that off my chest.
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Re: You're AVin' a larff, Nick.

Postby Captain Darling » Tue May 10, 2011 1:47 pm

Bad luck, Mat.

I think the "Yes" campaign made a classic marketing error by repeating their opponents' claims and then denying them (e.g. "The No Campaign claims it will cost £******* amount of money to switch to AV, it's not true, it won't cost anything like that").

Never a good idea to use your opponent's propoganda in your own propoganda, as by re-stating their claims and then denying them you simply reinforce their original message.

Looks like electoral reform is off the agenda for a generation. PR was never an ideology anyway - it was merely a mechanism - and I reckon the Lib Dems would be better off by spending their time outlining their philosophy instead. They have, after all, learnt to win under FPTP: in 1987 the Alliance took 23% and won only 22 seats - whereas by 2005 the Lib Dems won sixty seats for the same share of vote.

Despite being a Labour Party activist, I frequently find myself agreeing with the Lib Dems more than my own party (e.g. Vince Cable's criticisms of the PM's attack on multiculturalism).

Surely the Lib Dems should junk electoral reform and concentrate on nursing their own ideological and social base, which is basically one of being right wing on economic issues - such as the deficit - but left wing on other matters such as race relations.

There is a definite section of the electorate (the liberal-minded middle class) who find such a mixture appealing.

(P.S.:- Have I spelt "propaganda" correctly? A spell checker would be a good addition to this forum).
Captain Darling
 
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Re: You're AVin' a larff, Nick.

Postby mat » Sun May 15, 2011 2:40 pm

I couldn't agree more with most of what you wrote.

Sadly, if that were the only mistake the Yes campaign made, we wouldn't have lost so awfully badly. There was a catalogue of errors from the very start of the campaign.

You don't have to read very far into this horrifying critique of the errors made in this doc to understand why we did so badly:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/55322336/Yes- ... -ly-lgw3Bk

Personally I wasn't very involved with the central campaign, instead I was out leafleting at tube stations until dead on my feet.

And yes, re the Lib Dems. Electoral reform should always feature highly on the agenda for the party as it's a central tenet to the party's values. But now - the LDs should get on with being in government and convincing the electorate that coalition politics is good for the country...
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Re: You're AVin' a larff, Nick.

Postby Captain Darling » Tue May 17, 2011 1:35 pm

The Lib Dems need a simple and compelling campaign message for the next general election.

Here's an example of what I would put out on billboards across the land if I were running their campaign...

"Thanks to us, the low paid no longer pay income tax."

... and various other simple messages, on both posters and leaflets, to ram home the message that they have had a positive influence on the coalition.

It will be difficult for them to sell a narrative that they are better for the poorer off than Labour are (especially when they are in coalition with the Tories) but some of those among the intellectual 'thinking' segment of the left-leaning population might just be persuaded that the Lib Dems deserve their vote, especially if they find themselves living in a Tory/Lib Dem marginal where Labour has no chance of victory.

In terms of the wider electoral scene, there's a lot of water still to pass underneath the bridge but based on Labour's wafer-thin margin over the Tories in the local elections it looks like David Cameron will win the 2015 general election: there is nearly always a significant electoral 'bounce back' for the incumbent government.
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