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Courting opinions

21 replies

newwave · 30/03/2011 23:50

I want AV and I also want to damage Clegg by voting against AV.

Could I ask others for their opinions especially those who are going to vote yes

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Paul88 · 31/03/2011 07:43

I have the exact same dilemma. I'm sure many do.

Of course AV is better than FPTP and it is very hard to see why anyone would vote against.

Except that if NO wins, especially if combined with a lib dem council wipe out, the lib dems might sack Clegg. It is quite easy for them to do this - 75 local constituency parties can get rid of him, or a simple majority of lib dem MPs.

Even if they then stayed in coalition we would surely get some moderation of policies.

I don't see myself actually making a final decision until I am inside the voting booth.

Niceguy2 · 31/03/2011 09:43

I'm in two minds too. On the one hand I'd like a system which doesn't waste most votes, so AV is better than FPTP in that regard.

But at the same time I don't particularly want another coalition. The lib dems seem woefully unprepared for power. And I fear AV will increase the chances of that happening. (unless someone knows better).

Chil1234 · 31/03/2011 10:13

If voting against AV would damage Clegg wouldn't it also damage Miliband as well? He's stuck his neck out in favour, not exactly in tune with his party, and if he's shown to be out of step with the electorate as well as his MPs wouldn't that be an early end to his time at the crease?

BaggedandTagged · 31/03/2011 13:27

The way I see it, this is the opportunity to get rid of first past the post. If you don't take it now, the Cons and Lab will be able to bury it for decades.

I think you have to think long term if you genuinely believe in electoral reform.

Niceguy2 · 31/03/2011 13:43

I see your point but at the same time, is the UK ready to have coalitions all the time?

The ultimate lib-dem wet dream is PR of course which then means we're pretty much in permanent coalitions with the Lib Dems being king-makers. But recent events suggest to me that they're far from ready.

The uni fees fiasco being the most evident example to me. They'd signed a pledge saying they would vote against fee increases. The coalition agreement gave them the option to abstain. So all they needed to do was shut up and stay out of it. Let the Tories take the heat. So then to do a complete about face was sheer stupidity itself.

newwave · 31/03/2011 22:29

I want to go back to voting LD as i always have but I cannot whilst Clegg and the Orange bookers are at the helm. By voting no I would hope the damage Clegg in the eyes of non ministerial LD MP's who would out him and split/end the coalition.

If AV is defeated what possible reason is there for the LD's to remain supporting the far right policies of the Tories.

Best result next election is a Lib/Lab pact followed by the introduction of proportional representation

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longfingernails · 31/03/2011 22:31

AV = permanent Lib Dem government

newwave · 31/03/2011 22:34

LFN, far far better than having a Tory one :). The German Free Democrats are not always in government and they hold a similiar proportion of German votes.

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cikals · 31/03/2011 22:37

I'm a Labour supporter and I'll be voting for AV because if the AV referendum is lost then electoral reform will vanish as an issue in politics and I hate FPTP, I frankly might as well not vote. I don't like the coalition but I think voting against AV to just hurt Clegg is very short-sighted as Clegg will be gone in 5-10 years whereas the electoral system will be with us for the foreseeable future. Add to that Miliband is supporting AV it would also be fairly bad for the Labour party if the referendum is lost.

huddspur · 31/03/2011 22:40

I'm voting yes but I'm a Lib Dem supporter and an Orange booker.

Paul88 · 31/03/2011 22:57

If this government continues as it is for another 4 years the damage to the country will be with us for decades. It is not just about hurting Clegg it is about saving the NHS.

deletes long rant about the policies of this government in an attempt to stay on topic

AV is not like PR and although it might slightly increase the chances of a coalition it won't be by much. A lot more people will vote green because they know they have a second choice so it is not a wasted vote - but they will still end up being redistributed to another party.

If the LDs hadn't lost so much support they might gain from AV but it is not as simple as saying that AV benefits the 3rd party.

In many cases AV would stop a split vote - at the last election a good number of LD voters would have put labour second, so the redistribution might well have kept the tories out. At the next election nobody left leaning will vote LD, so AV is actually likely to be in the tories interest in many seats as the combination of tory and LD voters instead of splitting the anti labour vote will end up keeping labour out.

Ed M won't get the blame if NO wins, Clegg will. So it doesn't matter for labour.

It is sad to think that this might be the only chance for electoral reform and it might not happen.

BaggedandTagged · 01/04/2011 01:44

It is slightly ironic that the electoral reform issue is having it's day just when all the Lib Dem supporters have decided that actually, they don't like coalitions after all because Nick Clegg went "the wrong way" (although actually he didn't really have a choice as if he'd gone with Labour it would have ended up with "no overall majority" and we'd probably be under the boot of the IMF by now.)

He basically had a Hobson's Choice.

Paul88 · 01/04/2011 07:47

I agree that the electoral arithmetic ruled out a lib-lab deal. Clegg has given coalitions a bad name by the way he has done the deal. He has basically said he will do the tories' bidding in exchange for a small number of concessions - the increase in personal allowance; the AV referendum - I can't even remember what the others are.

The LDs have moderated some policies: the student loan regime is much better than it would be if it had been up to the tories (although there is trouble coming as the vast majority of universities will go for the full £9k which will vastly increase the governments costs covering interest until it starts getting paid back).

But because they have 'got into bed' and are taking joint responsibility for things they should be opposing most people don't see them as doing anything useful.

It would be much better if they had taken the line that they would support the tories enough for them to do the essential things - like get a budget through - but maintained the right to disagree, whether by having a slightly looser coalition or by supporting a minority tory government. Then instead of coming to deals behind closed doors in number 10 and then forcing them through parliament the discussions could be had in parliament and MPs could make the decisions.

Lets face it the current version of democracy we have is a joke - the vast majority of MPs just vote the way their whips tell them - nothing to do with representing their constituents. This hung parliament could have changed that and moved power away from the party and to MPs. Real shame it didn't happen and completely Clegg's fault.

GiddyPickle · 01/04/2011 10:23

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vesela · 04/04/2011 21:10

The Lib Dems are not going to sack Clegg if AV doesn't get through. The stuff in the Telegraph recently about a possible leadership bid by Huhne was just a pretty transparent attempt by the Tories/No2AV to try and encourage people to vote no - "look, you can help give Clegg a push."

I think the most widespread feeling in the party is Tim Farron for leader at some time in the future, but that now would not be a good time.

Obviously LDs are going to be more than a bit sad if AV doesn't get through and they lose lots of council seats, but they'll stick at it.

newwave · 04/04/2011 22:10


Not so sure, the LD's are taking a kicking as the Tories shield so if being the shield has no reward why not get out of the way.

The ONLY thing in the coaltion for the non-ministerial LD MP's is AV if that is lost please tell me what advantage is the coalition for the non-ministerial LD's. People see only the damage being done and not the (so called) progressive LD policies.

If they leave the coalition they can start to get back some support from people (like me, a lifelong LD Voter) who up till now have supported the LD's but now will vote Labour (whilst holding my nose).

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Mellowfruitfulness · 04/04/2011 23:44

I think AV is better than FPTP, and it might give the Greens a chance. I also don't see Clegg as being the only LD collaborator, and it's pointless making him a scapegoat. What I find truly shocking about this government is the lies they told in the election (Cameron saying he would not damage the NHS, Clegg promising not to raise tuition fees etc). With AV I don't think they would be able to get away with lying like that, as they would be held more strictly to account, wouldn't they?

The only thing is that I think a lot of voters will just choose one candidate, like Giddypickles, and that would undermine the AV system if it got in. Not only that, but it would make it just as undemocratic as FPTP, wouldn't it? But not worse, anyway.

vesela · 05/04/2011 17:01

newwave - the reward will be putting the economy on a better footing, improving social mobility, all the other issues that need tackling. The Lib Dems are far keener to be in government than people realise, and it's got nothing to do with the perks of ministerial power - they want to make a difference, and, contrary to a lot of the popular narrative, they are.

newwave · 05/04/2011 22:14

newwave - the reward will be putting the economy on a better footing.

vesela, if only that were true but the Tory policies will result in the opposite of that Sad

improving social mobility. For a small number of people maybe but for many families the Tory policies will push then closer to the breadline or below it Angry

The outcome of the coalition will be that Tory voters will continue in the main to vote Tory and LibDem voters such as myself will desert them in droves.

I just hope the May election disaster will wake up the LD's or they are heading for a car crash.

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vesela · 05/04/2011 23:18

I don't think they will result in the opposite of that, and they're not Tory policies, - they're coalition policies. Just as if we were in a coalition with Labour, it wouldn't be producing Labour policies. The idea that the Tories are so powerful that all the Lib Dems can do is be their shields is misplaced.

newwave · 05/04/2011 23:24

Vesela, I will happily concede that the LD input (small though it is) is ameliorating some of the spite and nastiness of Tory only policies but only by a small degree.

I don't think they will result in the opposite of that. May I beg to differ, have you seen the reduced (even further) growth forecasts and the rising unemployment plus record under 25 unemployment.

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