The No Campaign ad

We've had the ad from the Electoral Commission explaining the referendum, now here's the ad from the No campaign (loses points for use of Ocean Colour Scene). Erm, convinced by this?!

Here's a link to the Yes ad.


mintness said...

Of course not - it's insulting, misleading tosh, and worst of all, it'll work.

Anonymous said...

Was this filmed in Crystal Palace or is it somewhere that looks remarkably similar?

A shame they didn't include the dinosaurs in the park which are a good representation of FPTP supporters.

Headhunter said...

I had the leaflet campaigning for a "no" vote. It didn't really say much other than that it would cost a lot to implement which in my view is not really a good enough reason on its own, if AV is going to result in fairer elections. The other reason they cited was that only Australia and Fiji or something in the entire world use AV and they say that 40% of Australians want to get rid of it. No mention of why they want to get rid of AV and if indeed they do, whether they would prefer FPTP... Other than that I still can't see any reason not to vote yes...

Brockley Ben said...

Couldn't they afford the Rocky music that they clearly wanted?

Anonymous said...

The leaflet also made no mention of the fact that in Fiji the elections are divided according to ethnic divisons, which probably has more to do with the need for reform. And in Australia they have a system where parties can say where second preference votes go, rather than leaving it up to voters - this does tend to have some undesirable consequences.

mintness said...


D said...

The difference between the reality and their misleading video is that the boy does get to the finish line first. If he did that (reached 50% of votes before anyone else) under AV then he'd still win. It may have been more acurate if they all collapsed short of the line, which also could have doubled as a public health/anti-obesity film.

Anonymous said...

I should hope it does work mintness.

Otherwise we'll end up with a pointless bit of tinkering to our electoral system that will result in even more mediocre politicians than we already have

Anonymous said...

blah blah blah, we're the conservatives, and we'd like to convince you that progress is wrong, because progress might potentially put a stop to our villainy.

the end.

Lou Baker said...

@anon 1706

Dumb comment.

Not all conservatives oppose electoral reform, and there are plenty of Labour bigwigs who don't support it.

Many Lib Dems dislike AV.

So this is unquestionably not a party political issue.

max said...

If elections were about speed then I'd accept the argument, but they're not.
If a comparison with a sport should be made it should be gymnastics or diving, where a jury "votes" to give an assesment of a comprehensive performance.
There are no votes, no votes, in speed races, whether horses or children or anything else.

Tamsin said...

I gather that in Australia it is (a) compulsory to vote (rather like that Saki story about defeating the Suffragette movement by making voting in all, but all, civic matters compulsory for women) and (b) you have to state your preference for all the candidates - even if there are dozens of them and you don't know most from Adam (or Eve). So with the significant difference that you can if you like just cast one vote, or only two, or whatever - the experience here might be different.

And what is wrong with Fiji?

Anonymous said...

Why is 50% suddenly a magical goalpost? When % turnout is so low in elections, even someone getting 50% of the vote isn't supported by anywhere near 50% of the constituents. Well under 20%.
I'm against compulsory voting as most people have no idea of the policies they are voting for! I AM for a questionnaire on the way in to the polling station to establish you actually know vaguely what you're supporting...

Mb said...

So votes only for those who can answer questions set by those presumably already in a position of authority?

Nicola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brockley Nick said...

@mb no, votes only for those who can be arsed to consider the issues and turn out to vote. By all means campaign to encourage people to equip themselves and take an active interest in democracy (and it never ceases to amaze me how passionate many people are about this responsibility) but don't force listless drongos to vote against their will.

max said...

Voting should be discouraged, that'll make it cool.
And it should be a limited resource. People to be allowed to vote only once, any subsequent vote only after they pass earn some brownie points of some sort.

Anonymous said...

so wear is the Yes campaign video for political balance then? what's this got to do with Brockley?

Anonymous said...

what's it got to do with Brockley? Last time I checked, Brockley has yet to secede from the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and therefore the referendum on AV affects us just as much as the next place, no?

Brockley Nick said...

"so wear is the Yes campaign video for political balance then?"

There's a link hidden in the article somewhere like an Easter Egg. See if you can find it!

Anonymous said...

Occasionally BC takes on stories of national significance, as long as they're not murders.

Brockley Nick said...

Mb said...

I'm not commenting on whether or not voting should be compulsory, I'm saying that the right to vote should not be arbitrary. People who are denied the vote get annoyed, throw bricks and may post crap though my letter box. No one wants crap through their letter box.

Anonymous said...

"Take a look at the Olympics 200 metres. Round 1, heat 5. Who is that coming in second place? That'd be Usain Bolt. Of course, he went to come on first in later rounds, but then that's just how AV works."


Mb said...

Athletics! Now you're talking! If we had chris akabusi as pm everything would be fine. He'd be up for it, he'll do anything. He was on ch4 news for the "yes" campaign vs a female boxer for the "no" lot. Jon snow moderating, bizarre. Chris shaded it though.

Tamsin said...

It simply wouldn't work because - as has often been pointed out here - those who pay the taxes do not necessarily use the services and only a Swiss economist (from a small and wealthy federal country) would even think of it - but this is an interesting concept from the New Scientist last month (it takes me a while to catch up with them...)

"Didn't vote for the bozos who are running the country? Join the club. Thanks to the competitive nature of electoral democracies, many - often most - citizens end up being governed by a party they didn't vote for. But there is a way to ensure that every single voter is satisfied by the results of an election: simply have each voter governed by the political party he or she picked at the polls.

The idea is not as far-fetched as is might sound, says Olivier Ledoit, an economist at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, who proposes this so-called "choice democracy". "It's not really a major problem, even though it is a bit unfamiliar", he says. After all, metropolitan New York sprads across three states and many different municipalities, so workers at adjacent desks may pay very different taxes and enjoy different government services. And many Muslims in the UK have disputes resolved in sharia courts, which coexist with the British legal system.

It could work like this: before an election each political party would lay ot its governing principles - what services it will provide, how its taxes will be structured, what social policies it will pursue, and so forth. After the election, each voter pays taxes to the party they voted for, and receives that set of services - cultural and educational subsidies, for example, or unemployment benefits - until the next election. This would require doing away with secret ballots. On some things, parties may choose to band together to govern specific services - military defence, for example, or monetary systems - where economies of scale are important.

The idea might reduce demagoguery, says Ledoit, because a party that campagined on an appealing-sounding but impractical platform would be foreced to deliver after the election. Total voter satisfaction guaranteed."

Anonymous said...

The third place candidate could win, BUT ONLY IF MOST VOTERS WOULD PREFER THEM TO THE WINNER.

Which is fair, whereas the current system isn't.

This video is typical of how the no campaign produces misleading statements that insult the intelligence of the voter. Everyone should read this deconstruction of their leaflet.

Most annoyingly it will work.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am proudly voting NO to AV. The yes campaign have failed to present any compelling evidence for the need to reform. The link above ( ) is childish, pre pubescent nonsense. It supposes we should all vote YES to AV, simply because the conservatives are against it. The yes camp proposes we change our voting system without detailing WHY we should change it.

Before David cameron, we had Gordon Brown. Who was unelected. We now have a (coalition)government we didn't want. And many people at the last election were not allowed ot vote because the doors closed at 10. (remember the queues of people??) If we are to reform our system, then we need first to look at these issues. FPTP has worked the world over for many centuries. I see no reason to change it, and in such a hurry. Altering the very fabric of democracy, in such a short space of time, without being fully considered, discussed, tested (virtually) and properly thought through is dangerous and wrong.

We have NO say in anything demanded by Brussels. We had no say on the European constitution. We did NOT elect the European President. These, and similar matters are FAR more important, and more urgent than the Alternative Vote.

I REALLY want candidate A to win. Candidate B, "might" be ok, but not who I want. I couldn't give a shit about candidate C, and I haven't a clue who candidate D is, but I HAVE to pick them otherwise my vote will be spoiled.

max said...

Brockley Fox, I think you've wrong on most points here.

From start, for me the utility of AV is to be found in the effect it would have on the loathed argument that a candidate is going to win anyway so there's no point in voting for someone else.
With AV people would go and vote for the candidates they want because the second votes would give them a chance over the incumbent that now is often seen as unseatable.
This would also increase participation.

Secondly, it's an attempt to understand what the electorate is saying. If a candidate gets the biggest minority but no confidence from the rest of the voters then it's not outlandish to say that it would be preferrable to elect who got the widest support, even if not of first preferences.

Thirdly, I don't think your vote is spoiled if you don't tick all the boxes, we vote with a type of AV for the Mayor of Lewisham already, and people are allowed to vote for only one candidate without indicating a second preference.

On the other points, to say that because there are bigger reforms that should be made then we shouldn't do this before those are done is not a serious argument (why do you intervene in Lybia if you haven't stopped China's abuse of human rights springs to mind).

To finish, the idea that no one wanted the current government is your opinion but frankly it is what the British electors indicated. Toris came first as both votes and seats but without a full majority at Parliament which forced them to enter coalition with the Lib Dems giving us a moderate right government that seems to be exactly where public opinion is now, regrettably as that may be for some but that's democracy, and the process that added the Lib Dem support to the Tories' is not dissimilar from the concept of AV.

Mb said...

.....and what were talking about is your constituency MP having to get 50% of the vote. That's all, actually a fairly modest change.

Mb said...

Blogger is misbehaving....

Did write a lengthy stream of conciousness. Anyway, brockleyfox, your wrong. You don't have to use all three preferences. You can vote for your chosen one and can ignore the others if you REALLY don't want them to get any support from you. But 3 preferences is a more powerful tool than a single X. I was torn between lib and lab this time, I could vote 1 & 2 and ignore the rest.

max said...

Watch this!

Anonymous said...

so BC favours the No side then....are you sure it doesn't have a Tory bias?

Anonymous said...

should we rename this blog Tory Central???

Anonymous said...

The NO campaign is extremely patronising. It makes out that we are too stupid to understand a preferential voting system.

David Cameron was voted leader of the Tories under an AV system. If they had used FPTP David Davis would now be Tory leader. Perhaps Cameron should give up his job for Davis if he dislikes AV so much.

Similarly the mayor of London was elected by AV.

Australia seems to work pretty well as a democracy too.

All over the country people are disenfranchised as they like in safe seats. Their support for other parties makes their votes wasted. With AV there will be no wasted votes and no need to vote tactically.

It doesn't give as much power to the voters as PR but it is a step in the right direction.

Vote Yes to AV on May 5th. It makes sense.

Anonymous said...

I meant people are disenfranchised as they live in safe seats.

Anonymous said...

It will help smaller parties like the Greens for instance.

Currently Lewisham is a safe Labour seat. People sometimes think that voting for smaller parties will be a wasted vote. But with AV they can vote Green 1st and then another party second. It will eventually help the Greens in quite a big way.

Lets think of another example if a Labour voter lives in a strong Tory area they could vote Labour 1st but Lib-Dem 2nd.

Or a Tory lives in a Labour area could vote Tory first but Lib-Dem 2nd.

It gives everyone more power to their vote.

Or an anti-Lib-Dem voter could vote in a different way (there will probably be quite a few of those at the next election).

In the majority of cases the same candidate will win as with FPTP but in marginal seats it will make quite a big difference.

Brockley Nick said...

Amazing that you think this post is supportive of the "no" campaign. What about the phrase "Erm, convinced by this?!" sounds supportive?

Even more amazing that you can accuse the "No" campaign of being patronizing and simplistic and at the same time, say that anyone supporting the campaign must be a Tory - in itself a patronizing and simplistic assertion.

You also make some simplistic claims for AV - there will always be wasted votes so long as we have local constituencies. AV will make very little difference to the likes of the Greens. It will, on the other hand, make it more likely that more national governments will be formed through coalitions between one of the main two parties and the Lib Dems and / or the nationalist parties. I fail to see the appeal of that, personally, since coalitions (rather than delivering genuine compromise) seem to be a good way for both parties to jettison any awkward commitments they made in their manifestos.

Anyway, if you think AV will make politics better, good luck to you. I don't think it will. As you pointed out, we had AV in London and it was still a massively two horse race, won by a man without a single coherent policy.

Brockley Dogging Society - Policy & Public Engagement Division said...

Firstly let's scotch the nonsense about this being "Tory Central". It's more often been described as a tree hugging nest of socialists. It's neither, it's more like a group of mates arguing the toss over a pint. You know, life.

FPTP has given us authoritative governments but are they legitimate? 60% of the seats for 40% of the popular vote does not do that in my view. The AV system will not make a huge difference but will at least ensure that your MP has persuaded 50% of his constituency. If it turns out that the form of government is weak and ineffective then the electorate can bite their tongue and vote in a way that gives a stronger one. In any case the is not the seismic change the No campaign claims.

The greens may not win any more seats through AV but people would feel more inclined to use their vote so perhaps the main parties will actually tweak their policies in a meaningful way, the greens would become a genuine party rather than a pressure group and their support will be more accurately revealed I'm not a green by any means but FPTP means that alternative voices are stifled and that's not healthy. Once you have a third party, or more, FPTP crumbles.

As for Boris, you're right in a two horse race there is very little difference so why worry? I wept when he got in but I still think it's a better system, it's up to the other candidates to persuade us that they deserve 51% or more of the vote not for the system to deliver the outcome you prefer. Take the rough with the smooth as our Colin says while rolling around in the sandpit.

The truth is there is no perfect system, I'd rather have AV+ but I'm willing to vote for AV, its like life. Full of dilemmas. The occasional messy coalition is preferable to "strong" illegitimate governments sometimes delivered by FPTP, I mean what next? A benign dictatorship? Because the electorate are not to be trusted with voting?

I urge all doggers and indoor rutters to join me in saying yes to AV.

Brockley Nick said...

"FPTP has given us authoritative governments but are they legitimate? 60% of the seats for 40% of the popular vote does not do that in my view."

I fully understand this criticism of FPTP, but I don't think AV fixes it.

"The AV system will not make a huge difference but will at least ensure that your MP has persuaded 50% of his constituency."

Well he hasn't really, he's persuaded at least 50% of people that he's less bad than some of the candidates.

"If it turns out that the form of government is weak and ineffective then the electorate can bite their tongue and vote in a way that gives a stronger one."

This is the main appeal of FPTP to me. It tends to put one party in power, who are directly and clearly accountable to the electorate for the decisions they've made and can be booted out, if we want. AV means more coalitions, less clarity, more buck passing and it's harder ever to get rid of one party. Who stays in power becomes more about deals between party leaders.

"In any case the is not the seismic change the No campaign claims."

Agree with that, the No campaign is moronic.

"The greens may not win any more seats through AV but people would feel more inclined to use their vote so perhaps the main parties will actually tweak their policies in a meaningful way, the greens would become a genuine party rather than a pressure group and their support will be more accurately revealed I'm not a green by any means but FPTP means that alternative voices are stifled and that's not healthy."

I agree with this. Still won't help them win any seats.

"The truth is there is no perfect system."

Agreed, which is why I'd rather a referendum on something more substantial, such as European integration, rather than shuffling the deck chairs.

Or better still, let's have a proper debate about the future of the NHS or Education, both of which are being radically remodeled while we're arguing the toss over voting systems.

Brockley Roo said...

As an Aussie, can def say that that whole thing abut 40 per cent of Australians wanting to change the system is a lie - one of the lies the Lib-Dems have asked the electoral commission to look into. The voting system is not even on people's radar there - it works fine! To Australians the first-past-the-post system seems bizarre, I remember learning about it at school and I couldn't believe it. Australian system is actually called the "preferential system" which is easier to instantly understand than this "alternative note" thing which I suspect was designed to be meaningless in order to help the general confusion...

max said...

@ Brockley Nick

"The AV system will not make a huge difference but will at least ensure that your MP has persuaded 50% of his constituency."

Well he hasn't really, he's persuaded at least 50% of people that he's less bad than some of the candidates.

Only that the votes cast in a FPTP election also mean that.

With FPTP people has to edge their bets (which is insane) and if they feel that they'd be wasting their vote if they'd vote for the candidate they prefer they end up voting for someone that they don't mind or more often than not, that they hate marginally less than the opponents.

Wouldn't be better to remove the gambling thinking altogether and have people declaring their preferences?

Anonymous said...

Saying No at this stage is like a starving tramp sat outside Brockley station saying no to a loaf of Hovia from Costcutter because he wants an artisan bun from Degustation with a ramekin of mung bean butter... crazy.

Anonymous said...

Hovis, sorry.

.??? said...

Not sure what's more bemusing. The purpose of that last post or how the poster managed to type it with his hands strapped behind his back.

Tamsin said...

Shocked, although I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, by Peter Mandleson being reported as saying in favour of the "Yes" campaign that people should vote this way to put one in the eye for David Cameron.

With friends like that who needs enemies.

Totally deplorable - on a fundamental constitutional change people should be voting on the principles and those patently without principles should be barred from opening their mouths until after the event.

quick brown fox said...

For any floating voters: you can hear Armando Ianucci and (ahem!) Peter Stringfellow debating the issue on Jeremy Vine's radio show (it starts about 7 minutes in) - classic stuff:

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