Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#AVreferendum: The Naysayers

Parties Opposing AV: [via BBC]

I thought this would be an interesting Venn diagram to make. Unsurprisingly, the two parties who performed best in their own local areas are both against changing the current system, as it stood them in such good stead last year.

The other parties who are against AV include:
  • the racist BNP; 
  • George Galloway's Respect Party, who have lost their way politically after some initial popularity (just 33,251 votes in the entire country last year);
  • Jury Team, whom I'm pretty sure I'd never heard of before now, but were formed in March 2009 and seem pretty sensible from looking at their website;
  • and The Communist Party, who aren't even listed as a party on the BBC's election results page.  Note the lowest placed party listed, the Scottish Socialist Party, received 3,157 votes.  The Communists presumably couldn't even manage to beat that.
Note that perhaps with the exception of The Jury Team, who may grow yet, the opponents of AV are the parties who did very well last under FPTP thank-you-very-much, and parties who have limited support and are unlikely to figure even in a more proportional system such as STV.

Monday, April 25, 2011

#AVreferendum: The False Economy of Insignificant Time Savings

Insignificant Time Savings

One No2AV claim that is true is that it will take longer to count the votes under AV because, yes, it is more complicated.  But that's what makes it a teensy weensy bit better than FPTP.

I love the idea that "more complicated" is somehow synonymous with "bad", and that those few extra vote-counting hours required to determine who is going to make decisions for us for the next five years are wasted hours.

A decision worth making is worth making slowly (which, incidentally, is why we should have been presented with other voting options before deciding whether to replace FPTP).

Friday, April 22, 2011

#AVreferendum: Celebrity Endorsement

Celebrity Endorsement

Not a lot of people know this, but journalists are paid for their opinions.  The best journalists of course get paid the most because their opinions are the best.  The journalists are renowned the length and breadth of the country for spreading their wisdom like thick manure into our brains, so that our intellects may grow and flourish.

And then there are journalists who write for the Daily Telegraph.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sneak Preview! Those New Voting Machines The #No2AV Campaign Keep Banging On About #Yes2AV

Sneak Preview! Those AV Voting Machines...

Here's a graphic I made to show you just how significant the No2AV Campaign's claim about the cost of the implementation of the Alternative Vote really is.  Note how this is a one-off cost, and all the other costs shown are incurred by the nation every year.

Monday, April 18, 2011

#AVreferendum: Nick Clegg's Bloody Nose

The Alternative Vote Referendum In Numbers

One of the more common arguments you'll hear against voting "YES" is that Nick Clegg is campaigning for it, so you should vote "NO" just to piss him off.

YES, he betrayed millions of LibDem voters.
YES, he sold his soul to the Tories in order to secure this referendum.
But NO, deciding to punish him in this way doesn't really achieve anything, apart from significantly reducing the chances of proper electoral reform in our lifetimes.

We don't often get national referendums in this country - this is only our second ever.  If you want to vote "NO" because you think it's the right decision based on the facts, then fine, but the worst thing you can do is vote "NO" or even refuse to vote just because one politician pissed you off.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Beginner's Guide To "First Past The Post": An illustration of how much your opinion really matters. #AVreferendum

Beginner's Guide To "First Past The Post"

This is the likely scenario for many people when they go to vote under First Past The Post.  And you only get to state a preference about one of the candidates, not give a general opinion about the whole selection.

So what do you do?  You vote tactically.  You don't say what you really think, and instead you vote for the candidate who you find least offensive out of those who are likely to win.

And your preferred candidate looks less popular than he or she actually is.  So next time an election comes around, people won't vote for him/her yet again because they look like they don't have a chance of winning.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Graphs! Why Electoral Reform Is Needed (even if you don't think AV is the right step to take) #AVreferendum

Close, isn't it, between the top three?  Pity their seats in Parliament don't reflect this:

It's no surprise really, that Nick Clegg sold out to the Tories in order to secure the smallest chance of some meagre electoral reform he once described as "a miserable little compromise".

Monday, April 11, 2011

Brains to AV #Yes2AV

Yes, I'm going all political for a few weeks.  We have the best chance we're likely to get in years to improve our electoral system very very very slightly.  It's almost not worth getting excited about, except if we don't make this small change now, we'll give the main parties an excuse to sweep the issue under the carpet saying the public don't want change.  It's not often we get national referendums in this country - the only other UK-wide referendum was in 1975, on continued European Community membership.

Let's not waste this opportunity.  "Yes" to Fairer Votes on 5 May.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Day 29: The Day The Earth Moaned Still

I must confess.  I've probably been moaning rather more than I promised over Lent.  But I decided very early on that it didn't count if it was about my landlord, a prudence that paid off once I realised he'd used up all of my chutney without telling me, my sausages went ungarnished, and I could charge round the kitchen slamming things at will.

However, there has been no shortage of things that made my smile.  Here's a list of 3:

1. Films

A couple of weeks ago Laura and I went to Rich Mix to watch a film directed by this guy:

It's beautiful and viciously funny.  I can't recommend it highly enough.  Here's the trailer: