Tag Archives: yes2av

Opinion: Unfair and unbalanced – the scandal of print media referendum coverage

Buried amongst the furore caused by #harigate this week was a pretty damning ruling by the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) against the Sun and the Daily Mail. The complaint in question was made in relation to the AV referendum nearly two months ago by Electoral Reform Services – the business arm of the Electoral Reform Society (ERS).

The Sun and Mail were asked by the PCC to print letters apologising for some articles run during the AV referendum campaign. The article which ran on page 2 of the Sun and the front page of the Mail quoted George Osborne after he stood up in Parliament to claim that the ERS, one of the major funders of the Yes campaign would benefit financially from a ‘yes’ vote. This story was then re-run by Sky News and the BBC – subsequent rebuttals gave the story legs across a range of national media outlets.

You can be forgiven for not noticing since few journalists like to turn the spotlight on their own profession’s sometimes questionable practices.

Let’s just think about the context in which this fallacious claim was printed:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 14 Comments

Opinion: Liberal Democrats to hold inquiry into AV Referendum

The Guardian reports that the Party has decided to hold an inquiry, headed by James Gurling, into the Yes to AV campaign.

I wrote a piece for Lib Dem Voice back in May calling for an inquiry and since then more and more information has come to light about the shambolic and incompetent way the Yes campaign was run.

What does seem rather odd is that there has been no announcement to Party members and activists that this inquiry was taking place and asking for their input. I asked a couple of Lib Dems who had been highly active in …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

Opinion: Taxpayer foots £6.7m NO 2 AV leaflet bill

We all remember the supposed concern the NO 2 AV campaign had for the British taxpayer. You’ll remember – who could forget? – their claim that the Alternative Vote would cost £250m, and that this’ll kill babies and soldiers. You might also remember David Blunkett’s polling-day admission that that was all nonsense, but, hey, all’s fair in love, war and politics, and I guess they were just really concerned about saving taxpayers’ money. After all, TaxPayers’ Alliance founder Matthew Elliott headed up their campaign.

Just to underline how much they cared about the public purse, they

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 29 Comments

Opinion: If you voted Labour in a Lib Dem-Tory marginal, it’s your fault

After the last election, many thousands who voted Labour in Lib Dem-Tory marginals are furious with the Lib Dems for forming a coalition with the Tories. But when you stop and think about it, if they are angry with anyone, it should be with themselves.

We shouldn’t be too hard on them. The biggest blame lies with the election system.

At the last election, the Lib Dems and Labour had a combined vote of 52%, but together, they only had 315 MPs, ten short of a majority. To their great credit, many Labour supporters used their vote tactically, but there were not …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 29 Comments

Opinion: Vote for Fairer Votes to End Safe Seats

I grew up in Bournemouth, a bucolic place beside the sea where very little disturbs the peace. For over a century, Bournemouth’s politics at parliamentary level have been as sedate. In every election since Queen Victoria was on the throne, the same party has won. A candidate dons a blue rosette, shows up and becomes the MP. Whilst the Liberal Democrats have valiantly tried their best in recent elections, the two Bournemouth constituencies are like many places across the country where General elections do not really matter, where elections are a foregone conclusion, places where real power lies in the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 21 Comments

Yes to AV, car sales and the political brain

If the Yes campaign for the referendum was a car what kind of car would it be? I have a hunch it might be a 2000 vintage Skoda: making steady but unspectacular progress, hampered by an image problem and at risk from more aggressive and agile competitors. Of course in the early 2000s, the Volkswagen group transformed the fortunes of the sturdy Slovak auto with an imaginative re-brand. Does the Yes campaign need to re-think the way it gets its message across? Here are three reasons why I think it might have to:

‘But it’s not red, it’s fast!’

I chew my …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 33 Comments

Charles Kennedy MP: No2AV ads “shocking and outrageous”

Charles Kennedy MP has urged Liberal Democrat members and supporters to take action by registering their disappointment and disgust at the advertising tactics of the No2AV campaign.

The No campaign recently took out a two-page advertisement in the Birmingham Mail claiming that a sick baby “needs a new cardiac facility NOT an alternative voting system”. The ad misleadingly implies that the public must choose between an alternative voting system and frontline services.

Here’s what Charles said in his email this morning:

Over recent days No2AV have published a series of ads in local papers that can be described as distasteful at best,

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 17 Comments
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