Looking forward.

The AV referendum was won by the No campaign, hats off to them, it was very no even with the low turnout. A few days have passed and supporters now have to look forward.

Things I think need to happen:
Educate and inform, a lot of misinformation was knocking about in the campaign, and I never saw as much Yes material as No. I’m thinking pamphlets given out or sold, proper manifestos written, add a good pinch of memes and viral stuff, put proper advertising. Remember the “there probably is no god” something along those lines, get an advertising campaign going just reminding people that the referendum was on AV not electoral reform.

Proper cross party co-operation, many parties support electoral reform, but it seems they can’t bare to stand on the same stage to get it before going back to campaigning against each other, its petty and everyone should be above that, I guess politics is a rare time where you can choose to work in an area surrounded largely by like minded individuals.

At the same time I think party politics might be the fastest way to achieve reform, AV is essentially now untouchable (which is good in some ways) and an election is going to happen sometime in the next 4 years and political parties are going to have a paragraph on what they think about electoral reform, pressure should be put on them to ensure they want to follow through with their pledges.

If you support electoral reform:
Join a political party that wants it, then join the group within it that are openly and loudly reformist.
Join your respective union.
Join the Electoral Reform Society.

Get involved in the debate, the reformist body is naturally fractured in terms of what system should be enacted and how to go about going about it. Right now the movement needs to ensure that electoral reform doesn’t stagnate and get forgotten about other than on obscure sections of the internet and middle class dinner parties.

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3 Responses to Looking forward.

  1. Bibby says:

    The Yes campaign had £1million more to spend than the No campaign ( http://gu.com/p/2znqp ), and still blew it, even though the No campaign revealed it was basically entirely backed by Tories and the City, received a lot of negative attention on the BBC about misinformation, and had a hilariously OTT ad campaign. The lesson from this is that it wasn’t just anti-Clegg sentiment and pretty easy-to-read misinformation from both sides, it’s just that the electorate didn’t want the kind of change that AV would bring. Combine this with the fact that all unions (except the CWU) oppose a change from FPTP ( http://bbc.in/gOa99z ), the five Labour leadership candidates are all opposed to PR ( http://gu.com/p/2ht4k ) and the Liberals are essentially finished as a third party for the near future, this leaves the state of play for pro-PR campaigners pretty dire.

    • Roo says:

      Or as likely, the No campaign were better with their money, using it to fund misinformation and hilariously OTT ad campaign, which even on the day of the referendum had people getting confused by how AV doesn’t alter “one man, one vote”. Being against PR they may by, but against reform the Labour leadership are not, many of the split in Labour came from boundary changes and short term ideation of destabilising the coalition.

      The referendum was on AV, not FPTP, and that is one of the most important facts and one that I expect will be blurred as fast as possible. The British voter hasn’t come out in favour of FPTP, rather they have rejected AV, and it would be wrong to assume they are all generally against reform. I think many voters were voting to wound the Liberal Democrats / the Coalition, as illustrated by the colossal slide in the polls on AV, summer last year had it searing ahead, a year in and people making opinions on the Coalition and especially the junior partners has seen a steady decrease in these. There was also major fractures in the pro-reform movement which hindered the yes campaign as very few people 2 years ago would have mentioned AV as a system they were in favour of. Likewise, the unions were anti-AV, not reform per se.

      While I tend to disregard the concept of the “progressive majority”, in the 2010 elections, 5 of the top 6 parties supported reform in their manifestos (admittedly it was low down on them) its clear the main parties consider the current system flawed (also illustrated by Conservative supporters). The referendum has clearly put an end to any further discussion on AV (and probably AV+ by association in name) but there are many other systems (including semi proportional ones) which I feel would have support if a concerted reformist movement formed.

    • Roo says:

      Although, I was unaware of the excess funds of Yes. Really disappointing use of funds, really, wow.

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