...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 3769: If You Strike This Referendum Down, We Will Become More Powerful than You Can Possibly Imagine!


Look, I see people in South Africa queuing round the block for their right to vote; I see people in Afghanistan risking Taliban bombs for their chance to have their say; I see people in the Arab Spring facing down murderous dictators because they want democracy, and in this country we get our FIRST CHANCE EVER to decide on our own system of elections and I AM DEEPLY SHAMED that NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE.


This is your chance to GET A GRIP on the people who DECIDE on schools and taxes and wars and everything!

I'm told, oh if it was a vote on whether taxes will go up or down, or on whether schools will get funding or not, THEN people would turn out.

Well that IS what this referendum is about.

This is the BASICS, people; this is the FUNDAMENTALS of YOUR democracy.

If you WANT politicians to LISTEN to you, about schools or taxes or wars, then you've got to fluffing well MAKE THEM LISTEN TO YOU.

This referendum hasn't been won or lost yet. In fact it's still virtually NECK and BRASS NECK, pretty much in spite of, I'm sorry to say it, a total shambles of a campaign from #Yes2AV.

(Which pretty much proves how STRONG the desire for REAL CHANGE really is!)

And it does sometimes seem that some of the best minds in liberal campaigning have come together to produce the sort of winning campaign that usually comes THIRD in elections. So I suppose coming SECOND in the referendum will be a WIN for them!

First Past the Post is a system where NO ONE REACHES THE POST… and yet you let the #No2AV campaign seize the racing metaphors! Honestly, it's like you're not even TRYING!

In contrast, #No2AV have kept their message SIMPLE, DIRECT and EVIL – all the things that usually WIN, especially when backed by HUGE wodges of cash from UNDISCLOSED donors. c/o Bank of Belize. Possibly.

#Yes2AV have spent entirely too much time responding to #No2AV's lies and misinformation (giving the lies a second round of free publicity) with too much detail (no one listened to the answers).

Simple example: if #No2AV say: "AV will cost you quarter of a billion pounds" then you DO NOT reply with a line by line rebuttal and complaints about their adding up

You just say: "FPTP DID cost you half a billion pounds in expenses scandal; that's why we need a change."

Let the #No2AV campaign be the ones spluttering about factchecks and waving their calculators around.

And to Mr Huhney-Monster and Mr Hugs PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't bang on about taking legal action. It makes it sounds like you've already lost and are throwing toys out of the pram.

Yes, the MEEJA coverage of the debate has been SHOCKINGLY PATHETIC. Debate? What debate? It's only ever been about the personality spats.

No one has bothered to impartially explain the ISSUES. Auntie Beeb, I am looking at YOU!

And then there's the META-NEWS, the reporting that no one is interested in the issues, meaning no one in the NEWS is interested in the issues.

Plumptiously well-off columnists opining that at their fat-cat Islington suppers everyone is SO BORED, SWEETIE, with the whole business, as though this is the CLEVER and WITTY informed opinion rather a bunch of LAZY old FARTS gobbling up the rich puddings that are their rewards for supporting the STATUS QUO.

Well news for you, meeja people. The job of a JOURNALIST is to MAKE people CARE about the news. So, frankly, you're all just telling us you are FLUFFING AWFUL AT YOUR JOBS.

But print is dead, isn't it, and thank goodness for the wibbly wobbly web because a FUNCTIONING MEDIA is ESSENTIAL to a FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY, and if we relied on our print journalists we'd be right up the Galactic Empire without a Jedi paddle!

Let's be clear about this, the pressure to reform our BROKEN and UNFAIR electoral machinery is NOT going to go away; it's only going to get stronger and more urgent. People didn't march on the coalition negotiations last May urging them to keep the status quo.

There WILL BE another Hung Parliament, probably at the next General Election, if not then the one after that. And – whether we get AV or not – it will be IMPOSSIBLE to offer anything OTHER than PR as a Coalition deal, because there won't be anything else TO offer.

Captain Clegg's Constitutional Reform agenda WON'T STOP just because the referendum is over. More devolution, reform of the House of Lords Club, reform of the Monarchy, more local government…

And when the NEXT Coalition Agreement comes up, we WILL HAVE PR for the House of Lords, we WILL HAVE PR in Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland.

He never called AV a "miserable compromise", that was just the deal that Mr Frown put on the table when desperately clinging to power by his bitten fingernails, but he's always admitted that as an improvement on First Pass the Port this is only a small first step.

This referendum is WIN-WIN for reform:

If #Yes2AV wins, we get rid of the WORST possible voting system.

But if #No2AV wins, we get rid of NEARLY the worst possible voting system.

And when the NEXT Coalition Agreement comes up, any suggestion of a "miserable compromise" over AV will be trumped because IT WILL HAVE BEEN DECIDED. The only thing on the table will be a PROPER PROPORTIONAL SYSTEM.

Now go out and be positive for CHANGE!

And May the Fifth be with you!

No comments: