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Labour No to AV is born…

It looks like those within the Labour Party who want a No to AV vote on May 5th finally have an organisation to take-on Labour Yes. Quietly, Labour No to AV is being born. It has its own website which you can see here and, in addition, literature has been produced by three trade unions opposed to AV — the GMB, Community and Aslef. All these developments are welcome, as is the fact that in this literature there are moves to tackle the exact nature of AV as a system. For example, it directly debunks the myth that AV will end tactical voting. This is welcome and something the No campaign needs to do more — address the inequities and unfairness of the AV system.

Arguments like these need to be heard and heard loud and clear. Now we are off the ground and up and running with a Labour No campaign the next steps are to take the argument direct to Labour Yes. One of the creditable things about the Yes campaign was the fact that it established things like phone banks relatively early on in the campaign and I have been impressed by the intense activity of the Yes campaigners, at least if my Twitter timeline is anything to go by. I suppose this to be expected and natural to some degree since they are fighting for a positive change while No campaigners are fighting a more defensive struggle to maintain the status quo. However, while literature is good; direct contact with the voters is in my eyes much better and there is no substitute for it.  So, phone canvassing and delivering literature in person needs to become the norm for No campaigners.

Only one real fly in the ointment exists and that is the somewhat puzzling absence of Unite from the list of trade unions supporting the Labour No campaign. Although it is obviously something of a busy campaigning period, it would be disappointing if Unite decided it cannot play a part in this campaign.  However, regardless of that, the creation of Labour No makes it very much Game On in the battle over AV.

9 Comments

  1. Gary Elsby says:

    ‘Labour says NO to AV’
    Labour says YES to AV’.

    Oh really?

    The Election manifesto 2010 states quite clearly that our elected MPs should be voted in by a ‘majority’ of the electorate.

    FPTP does not do this, and anything but FPTP does.

    I’m Ok about you supporting the NO campaign, but I’m a little worrie why you want my MP to be instaled by a minority vote.
    It stinks a little of privelige.

  2. Darrell says:

    Gavin,

    Thanks for the comment. I would say in reply that the commitments made in a losing manifesto are null and void by default; I can appreciate your point but it would be wrong for me to say MP’s don’t have the same freedoms that the Party and its members do. Whatever their motivations they are entitled to change their mind on AV….

  3. Gary Elsby says:

    So is it official that Labour MPs have no desire to be reinstated by a majority?

    Ed Miliband thinks they should and so do I.

    Turkeys, however, never vote for Christmas.

  4. Darrell says:

    Gavin,

    At last count the majority of Labour MP’s were in the No camp. Maybe but its a moot point whether AV delivers a accurate majority verdict; if your a Green voting Labour as a lesser evil as your second preference for example, you don’t want a Labour MP; you want a Green one.

    I also think MP’s should be subject to the right of recall and so on and so forth but don’t think Ed agrees there.

  5. Gary Elsby says:

    How many of your ‘NO to AV’ MPs are installed via a minority vote?
    I’m adrift of the Party Political arguments and have no desire shaft the outcome of the electorate to keep Trident missile lovers in a role.
    A simple majority of the voters seeking their true voice in Parliament will render my nerve and sleeping pills redundant.

    In Stoke-on-Trent, Vote Labour-Get a Conservative.
    Voting for a winner in Stoke is worthless and the only cure is change.

  6. Keith Underhill says:

    Why should you vote tactically in AV.

    Tactical voting is when people vote for a political party that they do not usually support in order to prevent another party from winning

    This is pretty much eliminated under AV but is very common under FPTP

  7. Darrell says:

    @Keith,

    Sounds exactly like what people will do under AV.

    Take the Green who casts their second preference for Labour, not because they support Labour but because they hate the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Is that not exactly what they doing?

    What your saying is absolutely and completely untrue and that is provable in real life. Were it to be true why were supporters of either Miliband in the Labour leadership urged to lower the rank of the other?

  8. Darrell says:

    @Gavin,

    Honestly don’t know.

  9. Geoff Berry says:

    To Darrell.

    Here in Aldershot I prefer to vote labour, but there is no real chance of them ever winning here. However, my 2nd preference is definitely LibDem, so I voted LibDem. Effectively, both votes would have been, and were, wasted.

    The fact remains that given the hide-bound views of many people who vote by class or tradition, with no reflection on the issues, it would be possible to put dress a monkey up in a Tory (or Labour) suit and it would get voted in.

    Do you think that is a good system.

    The exisiting system merely perpetuates the status quo.

    Are you happy with that? I can believe anyone who is. I have seen this country badly managed for the last 4o years now and there is little chance of anything changing without a break from our current system.

    Clearly, those with the most to lose from changing the system are shouting the loudest.

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