Thursday, 21 April 2011

Vote no to insults

I am standing in the elections for Morecambe Town Council and for Lancaster City Council so I have been out knocking on doors and delivering leaflets. Yesterday morning I was placing one of our leaflets with a small photo of Nick Clegg on top of some No to AV leaflets with a big photo of Nick Clegg which is basically just an insult. A few hours later I mentioned this to someone and they replied "so Nick Clegg doesn't want AV?" I did explain how important I (and Nick) thought it was to vote yes to AV but it made me think that it isn't fair to base arguments on insulting the opposition.

The words on the leaflet make matters worse (one has been delivered to my house). It claims that AV leads to broken promises because Nick Clegg has broken promises. This argument is wrong on so many levels. Firstly if you think Nick has broken promises then he has done so under the first-past-the-post electoral system. Secondly the leaflet shows clearly that the author does not understand the nature of coalition government. Ministers are obliged to follow the Government line which will not be the same as the party manifesto. It isn't a broken promise, it is a coalition agreement. Thirdly, and this is the elephant in the room, regardless of whether you think AV would lead to broken promises or not, AV would not turn the world upside down. However there is no correlation between AV and broken promises.

I will quote from my blog on 17th February..."On the other hand prior to the last election AV would not have changed the result of the previous six elections. It is not going to turn the world upside down. In fact the only recent change would have been that Labour could have formed a government with the Liberal Democrats".

Wouln't it be nice to discuss the merits of AV rather than insults?

Change the world

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