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to be really depressed by the AV situation?

(73 Posts)
greentown Wed 27-Apr-11 10:03:23

I don't feel old yet but as I was growing up, we went from an era of B&W television to colour television, from pen and paper to calculator, from having weekly letters home to everyone having mobile phones, from public libraries to the internet... enough! ,you get what I'm saying.. we've had a lot of huge, life-transforming changes for the good over the last few decades.

But when it comes to this AV referendum, I'm worried that for one, there'll be a low turnout which every future politician will use as evidence in the future to say referendums are a waste of time and so should never be offered to the people again.

And secondly, that if people don't vote for AV (even if what the really want is a vote on PR)
future politicians will use this as evidence that British people don't like change, there's no appetite for change - full stop.

And so for the rest of my natural life, we will see-saw between tory and labour, with no possibility of change ever again - all because of the "evidence" given next week. (why couldn't they have that wanky royal wedding some other fecking time?)

It's like marking out my lifetime - one moment of significant political change is possible in my three score and ten - and that's it, made me all aware of my mortality and just how short a time we're here - ah well...

Lilmeena Wed 27-Apr-11 10:06:17

wine it's a large one

knittedbreast Wed 27-Apr-11 10:06:56

i agree with you. i also expect the timing of the royal wedding and the av vote is not a coincidence.

the problem is the people we need to vote, dont. they are so disafected by politiccs and so over and over we find our govs bowing dow to middle class people but its because all the decisions for the middle classes that the others dont vote. and that suits the gov just fine. no fuss, theyl put up and shut up.

DingDongMerrilyOutOfSeason Wed 27-Apr-11 10:07:00

YANBU and YABU. It would be great if everyone turned out to vote but if they do vote AV, the gvt will say that they have given the people what they want and the libdems will not bother to fight for proportional representation as they will have more of a chanve at power. Each party only wants the best outcome for them, not what is fair for the country.

wannaBe Wed 27-Apr-11 10:15:23

but the evidence does speak for itself. People aren't bothered.

There will not be enough of a turnout for it to count, which just shows that people don't really care. If people wanted AV they would turn out and vote for it.

greentown Wed 27-Apr-11 10:16:22

Cheers Lilmeena.

I think definitely if AV is knocked back then there will never be PR in the UK - never, ever!
So, voting Yes, at this stage, I think is a way for us to keep our options open.
Vote no - you may as well pack up your bags now and move to 1950s Britain on Sea.
I see NO as a vote against the very 'idea' of change and surely that's just too backward looking.
The AV debate for me, embodies the spirit of progress (regardless of the detail). It's the spirit of the times and I think to turn our backs on that is very worrying.
It's like saying you can't improve on what we've already got - and I can't believe that's true!

cantspel Wed 27-Apr-11 10:17:16

i dont want AV so will turn out and vote against it.

greentown Wed 27-Apr-11 10:18:23

mind you wannaBe - a low turnout is highly likely to be a low turnout of Yes voters - so that could work for me!!!
Actually, that's cheered me up.

greentown Wed 27-Apr-11 10:19:24

Here's to change! wine

DingDongMerrilyOutOfSeason Wed 27-Apr-11 10:21:06

I can see it from both sides. To play devil's advocate, a YES vote could be seen as an endorsement that AV is what the country wants, that it is enough. A NO vote will show that it is not enough, especially if loads of people turn out and vote NO. I think no matter which way people vote, it will be used as an indication that people do not want/need PR, that either they are happy with FPTP or that they actively want AV. Is rubbish and a bit sad.

Mandy2003 Wed 27-Apr-11 10:28:26

Who voted that the referendum was going to be for AV and not PR anyway? Why was AV chosen when only 3 other countries in the world (Australia and 2 Pacific islands) have it anyway? Shouldn't we use the same system as the rest of Europe which seems to control everything else we do?

greentown Wed 27-Apr-11 10:30:25

It is sad, very sad!

You're right DDMOOS - because it will be thrown in everybody's faces every ten years for the rest of time.

It will be taken as an endoresement of the status quo and carte blanche to Carry on Regardless - back to the old days and ways - "now, where did I leave that expenses form? I need a new tractor mower."

It's about the princliple of 'change' and the right to demand 'change' and I'm worried that if we pass it over now, we'll be giving up the option for a long time to come.

I just despair that people aren't just a teensie bit more adventurous - just try it - see what happens!

Groovee Wed 27-Apr-11 10:32:08

I'm still struggling to understand it. I'm working at the count for our referendum and understand how to do the count better than understanding the referendum itself.

throckenholt Wed 27-Apr-11 10:33:30

The frustration is that with the last election we were so close to a 3 party system - and now it looks like we are stuck with the current crap system for the forseeable future with more and more getting turned off from voting at all.

Not good for democracy.

greentown Wed 27-Apr-11 10:34:36

Well Mandy2003, you know, I suspect some people would think AV was offered by Cameron (instead of PR) for the very reason that it's easier to knock. ie it's a set-up.

greentown Wed 27-Apr-11 10:36:46

The catch is thought, whether you want AV or not, if you say no to it, you're saying no to ever being consulted on the electoral system again.

greentown Wed 27-Apr-11 10:37:38

Sorry - the catch is 'though', whether you want AV or not, if you say no to it, you're saying no to ever being consulted on the electoral system again.

DingDongMerrilyOutOfSeason Wed 27-Apr-11 10:38:02

Try it-see what happens only works if AV is something you are happy to live with. If not, campaign publicly and loudly for PR, let the gvt know that a NO vote to AV is because AV is not good enough, not because we are happy with what we have. Or vote YES, but campaign for PR and let them know that a vote for change is a good thing but it is not the change we wanted. Either way, your vote at the polls does not mean much unless you back it up with action as NO = happy with FPTP and YES = AV is what we wanted.

Mandy2003 Wed 27-Apr-11 10:38:49

But why would Cameron by able to do this without any parliamentary consultation and it being voted on my MPs. Unless there were many discussions which totally passed me by.

DingDongMerrilyOutOfSeason Wed 27-Apr-11 10:40:11

greentown that is wrong. If only 20% of people show up to vote, even if they vote YES it will show that the majority of the country doesn't care about reform. The only way to show that a referendum is wanted and needed by the people is for everyone to vote, no matter which way they vote. Voting NO will still show that they want a say, otherwise they would have just stayed at home and everything would have continued as was without their vote anyway.

MotherSnacker Wed 27-Apr-11 10:42:02

YANBU The only real choice under the current system is between Labour and the Conservatives. That just isn't fair. I will vote yes.

greentown Wed 27-Apr-11 10:52:14

DDMOOS - are you saying that the govt will ignore the majority if they vote yes (in a low turnout) or are you making the principled argument?
I don't think there will be a big turnout but I believe that doesn't mean people do/don't want AV - it means they don't feel either system is better/worse.
I think it the vote is no - then you can campaign until the cows come home - you and I will be 6 feet under before there is ever another vote on AV or PR - and that's a fact!

pineapple70 Wed 27-Apr-11 10:52:19

AV referendum is a total, total con - you vote against it - "people don't want change... "
You vote for it - "Well, you've got your way we've got an alternative system... why would we want to change it for yet another one now????..."

AV will benefit the conservatives - smaller parties tend to be further right wing these days, so the BNP argument does hold some water. That's why we're voting about AV rather than PR. I think Clegg has kissed goodbye to any chance of PR last year. David Cameron's set up a lose-lose vote.

GiddyPickle Wed 27-Apr-11 10:54:31

I think turnout will be so low that forever more the legitimacy of the result will be debated
If NO win everyone will say that it's because people want PR not AV and therefore nobody bothered as AV isn't a big enough change to turnout and vote for
Yet if YES win people will say we have to give AV a chance and 25 years down the line we'll still have AV. Australia have had AV for 90 years and never got PR.

A load of misinformation on BOTH sides has annoyed a lot of people and put them off. Other people want a change for changes sake (not realising perhaps that under AV we will still always get either a Labour or Tory majority - AV doesn't help small parties get seats).
Either way I think the low turnout combined with Scottish voters turning out more than English voters (because they have other elections and some in England don't) will have the losing side up in arms declaring the whole thing invalid.

greentown Wed 27-Apr-11 10:57:00

ddmoos - the libdems will never get in again after this coalition so they will never having the bargaining leverage to get AV or PR on to the table again. It's now or never literally.
The dominant hegemony is painting all the uk problems as being down to 'coalition' - surefire recipe for return to tory/labour stability
Cameron offers AV which is half a system - libdems get tarred as being as flawed as AV - "it's their solution"
cameron plays a blinder - AV kicked out, libdems kicked out and no electoral change for evermore

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