25 April 2011

The last rites for AV?

Worth considering the seismic shift in intentions revealed by the recent ICM poll showing a 16% lead for the 'No' campaign in the referendum for a change in the voting system. Never mind the merits of the various polling orgnisations. Lest we forget according to even the most generous poll, Major was obliterated in 1992 by Kinnock, by at least 50 seats, except we all know that did not happen. And mercifully Britain didn't go into the Euro under Kinnock/Smith. Then I think the anti-cuts lobby would really have something to go crazy about. Look at Greece and Ireland.

Perhaps one of the main reasons why I think the opponents of change (almost always derided as reactionary) have the upper hand is that proponents of PR are never really able to define what PR actually is Just a brief summary from the web's most readily consultable reference source reveals about 15 different systems.

I am assuming Giroscoper would like STV rather than AV, although he may perhaps prefer LD or MMS. Just going through the bewildering array of acronyms perhaps makes one nostalgic for a taste of LSD to induce hallucination.

STV, regardless of what proponents say is significantly more complex to understand than FPTP. It seems designed for two purposes: 1/ to eliminate representation for the BNP, whose second place votes are likely to be negligible (I know almost no UKIP or ED supporters who would vote BNP - most would rather abstain than tar themselves with such a brush) 2/ to maximise support for the equally dangerous Green party, whose second preferences (as revealed by the London assembly) elections are usually very high. Perhaps a function of how effective their propaganda is, this fundamentally misanthropic, basically almost stalinist organisation has persuaded a number of otherwise intelligent people of its relative harmlessness. However, scratch beneath the green veneer and you find a vein of the deepest red, true heirs to the spirit of Beria .

Ironically, as revealed by the european elections, the much derided UKIP would probably be the main beneficiary.Despite being dismissed by the BBC (who cost every household more than £100)as a 'minor party', they actually outpolled the Greens by more than 3 to 1 at the last general election nationwide. Anyhow, it looks like a combination of misinformation, the presence of Nick Clegg in the pro AV lobby, and a lack of clarity about just what people are saying 'Yes' to has scuppered PR for now. Rest assured, though, its proponents won't give up after this setback.


giroscoper said...

Great post Van - but the referendum is about AV, not PR, right? Although I take your point that most AV supporters (except the Indy's John Rentoul) are really PR supporters. I think that's why Yes2AV is such a stilted campaign. That and the fact that they've been too generally decent to play dirty the way the No campaign have - which I think was a mistake for Yes. I'd have personally gone about as far into the gutter as I could. In fact I'd have drilled a hole into the sewer. That's the way to win this kind of poll.

Van Patten said...

Remember that under AV the only vote that would count would be Nick Clegg's - ludcirous but in terms of impact on a par with the 1992 Conservative ads which said:

'Roy Hattersley's not doing quite so well, he's only managed 4 billion of new taxes'

Van Patten said...

Noted your comment on the Martin Kettle piece regarding the beneficiary of AV being the Greens on comment is free. Also noticed that a couple of Guardianistas said that they thought the prime beneficiary would be the UKIP and that was why they were voting No and wanting to keep FPTP! Interesting attitude to democracy - not saying you share it, but substitute BNP for UKIP in the above sentence (they also outvoted the Greens by more than 2 to 1nationwide) and its closer to the mindset of many on the Left than you'd think.