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Yes, No, Meh? Alternative Vote Webchat with John Prescott and Katie Ghose, TODAY at 11am

(196 Posts)
KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Apr-11 15:01:26

Yes, No, Meh? If you haven't already, the time to make your mind up on AV is getting closer, so we've invited John Prescott from the No camp and Katie Ghose from the Yes campaign to answer your questions about the referendum. Join us for a webchat at 11am, tomorrow, Wed 27 April.

Katie Ghose is an experienced campaigner and barrister and chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society. As chair of the Yes to AV campaign, Katie has said 'the alternative vote is a small change that will make a big difference - making MPs work harder to get and stay elected, and giving you more of a say'.

John Prescott was deputy prime minister from 1997 - 2007, is now a life peer and is campaigning against AV, urging people to say No to 'hung parliaments, coalitions, broken promises and a weakening of democracy'.

Whatever your take on AV, hope you can join us to debate the pros and cons.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Tue 26-Apr-11 15:11:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Apr-11 15:19:37


I'm sorry Katie, I don't believe the referendum is real.

smile blush

EightiesChick Tue 26-Apr-11 15:27:39

An AV webchat! Ha ha, MN, almost fell for it.

IslaValargeone Tue 26-Apr-11 15:30:11

Lord Prescott? Now why would a real life lord want to come and talk to us?
Oh MNHQ you little tinkers pulling our legs like this.

brookeslay Tue 26-Apr-11 15:31:30

Two kates in one week mumsnet your spoiling us !

NotShortImHotCrossBunSized Tue 26-Apr-11 15:33:05

Cue 300 posters saying "Ha, nice try like we're going to believe you now"

Which will be a lot less funny than FakeKateGate grin

EightiesChick Tue 26-Apr-11 15:44:52

Oh, I dunno, probably about on a par...

ZillahWhoDrankTooMuchGin Tue 26-Apr-11 15:49:21

what utter rot.....

GypsyMoth Tue 26-Apr-11 15:57:54

dont believe you......

notwavingjustironing Tue 26-Apr-11 16:22:34

If we don't like the people appearing on the webchat, will we get the chance to vote for someone else?

BecauseImWoeufIt Tue 26-Apr-11 16:35:24


I look forward to it!

FolornHope Tue 26-Apr-11 16:37:51

to be honest i think its unlikely i will vote

Both of you *looks hard * tell me why I should bother ( in under 140 characters)

and no snarkiness

Missingfriendsandsad Tue 26-Apr-11 16:38:26

John, You said many times that AV wil result in more coalitions, but there is no evidence at all that this is the case. Why are your jeaopardising your political integrity by leading with your chin with false statements that areee easy to knock down. Are you secretly a Yes campaign stooge?

MrsMichic Tue 26-Apr-11 16:42:23

Well if it is true and you are interviewing these people, I would really like to know is:
a) WHY there isn't a live TV debate about this, given that it's possibly the largest electoral reform our country has seen in a LONG time - surely it's as important as the election? People DONT understand what this!!! So won't vote - and our country could drift into electoral reform without even realising it.
b) Why the pros and cons of both seem to be the same?? For example, both sides argue that voting the other way will allow minority parties such as the hideous BNP to gain more strength - which is true???

MarioandLuigi Tue 26-Apr-11 16:43:10

Will having AV mean that parties like The BNP and UKIP will have more chance of having MP's?

MarioandLuigi Tue 26-Apr-11 16:43:30

Sorry, that was so badly worded blush

ilythia Tue 26-Apr-11 16:44:41

I would like John to explain why the No campaign is made up of lies and falsehoods to try and convince people that AV is wrong For example, the 'some people will get 5 votes' thing, all this means is that some people will end up with their 5th choice being elected, those with 1 vote get their first choice. Why are you misleading the electorate with your campaign?

I would just like to wish Katie and the Yes campaign the best of luck, as a mathematician the No campaign is offending me through lack of logic so I can hardly imagine how frustrated they must be.

PPT Tue 26-Apr-11 16:45:57

Am I right in thinking that only Australia and Fiji and Papua New Guinea use the AV. And that Australians are wanting to get rid of the system? Why should we use a system that other similar countries to ourselves don't?

DamnYouAutocorrect Tue 26-Apr-11 16:47:38

My challenge, if you choose to accept it, is for each of you to say one positive thing about your position that doesn't fall foul of Channel 4's Factcheck.

(So Katie, you can't say: that there's a link between safe seats and the expenses scandal; that AV would lead to fewer safe seats; that MPs under AV would need to get 50% support (although most will have to aim for it); or that David Cameron was elected using AV (he wasn't, it was multi-round voting.

John, you can't say: that the change would cost £250 million and require expensive voting machines; that it would lead to more hung parliaments or coalitions; that AV would benefit the BNP or other extremist parties; that AV gives some people's votes more weight than others'.)

And, if I'm allowed another question, aren't you both a bit ashamed of the distortions and dishonesties that have characterised both campaigns?

Crumblemum Tue 26-Apr-11 16:50:18

I just don't really understand the point of AV. Without wanting to be rude, doesn't it just make people feel better about not backing the winner? ie I live in a Labour seat, but like the greens. I vote 1. Green, 2.Lib Dems. My vote is transferred to Lib Dems, and even if they win, it isn't my first choice, it's just deferred tactical voting.

First Past the Post isn't perfect, but at leasts its obvious.

Pram1nTheHall Tue 26-Apr-11 16:54:15

Katie, wouldn't you rather just have STV? wink

John, do you or don't you believe that one person, one vote is pretty worthless when votes don't have equal value? FPTP massively privileges some votes over others and is inherently anti-democratic. Is there any system you think is better than FPTP?

<'YES!' poster up in window, leaflets delivered>

WildhoodChunder Tue 26-Apr-11 17:00:46

Do you think AV would encourage those standing for election to work harder to communicate why we should vote for them, and in turn would this lead to better voter turn-out?

MrsKwazii Tue 26-Apr-11 17:06:42

A question at a slight tangent for John and Katie, what would you both think of having 'None of the above' also added to ballot papers? This would give all voters the chance to really put down their preference at all elections - from parish/town up to MP level.

For example, at some recent local council elections in my area, friends only had candidates from Conservatives and Labour to choose from, so had no choice at all. Tinkering with the election system with AV still doesn't mean that everyone's vote will count.

HHLimbo Tue 26-Apr-11 17:39:38

At the moment MPs can get elected when most people actually voted for someone else.

It can be as little as 3 out of 10 voters that actually voted for their MP. In 2/3 constituencies in the UK, most people actually voted for someone else.

John, how can you justify this system? Wouldnt it be better to have an MP that most people prefer?
This is what AV will do for us.

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