March 11th, 2011

No2AV Yes2PR

Every weirdy-beardy electoral reform purist hated the thought of the “miserable compromise” of AV before they got a whiff of a referendum. Not all of them have sold out it though.

In a day of letters, perhaps the most interesting is the David Owen’s to the Guardian:

“In the light of that conclusion, based on the fundamental need for stability in constitutional reform, we will reluctantly vote no to the alternative vote, while continuing to campaign for the principles behind proportional representation under the slogan “No to AV, Yes to PR”.”

Could very well upset the Yes apple cart if this is played right.


  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    whatever system we have we will still have same mediocre career politicons.

  2. 2
    jdennis_99 says:

    I’ll be voting Yes in the referendum. But I’d much rather have FPTP than PR.

  3. 3
    Pig Sick says:

    David Owen’s made a good living from it

  4. 4
    geekparent says:

    Yes Billy you are right. The whole thing is a fudge, cooked up by politicians, for politicians and about politicians. There is no rationale to it – that alone is a reason to vote No.

    Now, some sort of recall (whatever happened to that idea?), more free votes, mid-term elections – there are loads of reforms to Parliament that would yield real results at a fraction of the cost.

  5. 5
    Dr Death says:

    David told me to return to my constituency and prepare-but for what?.
    But then again he forgets that I’m BIG David, and it’s ME who decides whats what.

  6. 6
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    anyway isnt this what all politicons do, change the question, i mean Nick Clegg has form on this, Remeber the “Lisbon” affair, The reason he and most his party sat on thier hands was they wanted an in/out referendum, Thus preventing voters having a say(Tho blame goes to Labours door as well), So it politcs just trying to split the vote of the other side.

    Arseholes the lot of em!

  7. 7
    Anonymous says:

    I think it is ‘purist’ rather than ‘purest’

  8. 8
    Hmm says:

    “Every weirdy-beardy electoral reform purest hated the thought of the “miserable compromise” of AV before they got a whiff of a referendum”

    I call bullshit. I’m willing to bet the majority of the yes2av lot, when faced with the question “would you prefer AV or FPTP” would opt for AV.

    If you were getting kicked in the balls and they offered to slap you in the face instead, would you turn it down because it was a “miserable little compromise”? Or would you take the best offer on the table?

  9. 9
    Ed Milipede says:

    Recall Gordon Brown.

  10. 10
    Ed Milipede says:

    Then vote no.

  11. 11
    Ed Milipede says:

    I’d like to kick Balls.

  12. 12
    Sir William Waad says:

    This still doesn’t constitute an argument against AV. So far, the only arguments against it are:

    1. It might give a different result from first-past-the post. (That’s the idea.)

    2. It might not give the result that the writer would like. (So?)

    3. It would cost – ooh – let’s make a number up and double it.

  13. 13
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    Clearly David Owen hasn’t got a beard.

  14. 14
    Dr Windows says:

    i need to know how to play chutney rumble

  15. 15
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    But think about the soldiers and babies and steelworks.

  16. 16
    Dick the Prick says:

    David Owen’s made a shit career out of it – he’s a total numbnuts. It’s useful that the tosser does care about PR but on every other issue the guy’s so far up his own lefty arse he makes Kilroy look like a moderate. It’s all very well slating David Miliband as being a gimp at the FCO but some of Owen’s opinions are catastrophic European federalism. Fuck that with foghorns on.

  17. 17
    Popeye says:

    Verry cunning Owen. Your Lordship doesn’t need votes anymore, so stir it up!

  18. 18

    O/T Breaking news
    Jap gov declaire an “emergency situation” at a nuclear power plant as the cooling system fails on the reactor

  19. 19
    PLP says:

    Vote David Miliband and get Ed as Leader. Hmm? AV is a lot of bollocks. It promotes inequality, it is expensive & your likely to get Nobby Nobhead as Prime Minister cos everyone chose him as 2nd preference just for a laugh.

  20. 20
    Engineer says:

    In retrospect, it was a bad mistake to pay politicians. It’s not a public service any more, it’s a career; too many politicians no longer act in the country’s best interests, they act in the best interests of their future career and bank account.

  21. 21
    Engineer says:

    They have also said that there is no leak of radioactive material and there will be no leak of radioactive material. One report suggested a serious fire in the turbine hall – the reactor is shut down.

    Don’t panic.

  22. 22
    Axe Murderer, R*pist, Kidnapper, Fraudster, Moggie botherer. says:

    Yes2AV! Save the whale! N*ck Grif**n for PM.

  23. 23
    The Golem says:

    I read “stability in constitutional reform” as “liblabcon forever!”.

    No, not if it can be avoided.

  24. 24
    Engineer says:

    We manage to make life complicated by banging on about tactical voting even with a simple system like FPTP. Heaven knows how complicated it could get with AV, STV, PR or whatever.

    First rule of engineering – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Stick with FPTP – we know it isn’t perfect, but it’s less imperfect than the complicated alternatives.

  25. 25
    The People of Japan says:

    When we said give us a wave we didnt mean this type of wave!

  26. 26
    its the gordons fault says:

    i agree, as much as i hate to admit it, old money who take no salaries have little interest in get rich schemes and money grabbing – see Blair (him and her) maybe an unelected hereditary lords was better that blair’s cronies

  27. 27
    Gordon Brown says:

    I say no to toilet tissue and yes to palm wiping.

  28. 28
    PD77 says:

    Is the JDF on the lookout for Godzilla yet?

  29. 29
    Vote for who? says:

    God it is hard enough trying to vote for one decent politician, now you have preferences. You can count on one hand the amount of decent politicians in Parliament. Maybe it politicians who need to change and not the voting system.

  30. 30
    oink says:

    any change in the voting system should only happen once we have a defined constitution, rights to freedom of expression, limits on the role of surveillance and a complete overhaul of the parliamentary system – with clear, explicit roles for a reduced number of MPs – fully accountable to the public, a change in the nature of crown copyright, immunity, with free access to all public documents – the removal of the house of lords, dispensing of the role of the church and election of the judiciary, again fully accountable to the people – and removal of the monarchy. This country still thinks it lives in the 14th century


  31. 31
    Sir William Waad says:

    AV is better because you DON’T have to vote tactically. You can vote for the person or party you like best.

    “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” as Al Einstein once remarked to me.

  32. 32
    Sir William Waad says:

    …and buttered scones for tea?

  33. 33
    PD77 says:

    Is J S D(ee) F a banned word here or something?

  34. 34
    Anonymous says:

    Roland Rudd was on Today this morning, promoting Yes to AV. Did Sarah Montagu have a Jeremy Hunt moment when she thanked “Roland Rat” at the end of the item?


  35. 35
    No2Europe says:

    It makes no difference who you vote for, what system you use. We are slaves to Europe. AV is unlikely to change even if UKIP makes gains we will be undemocratically controlled by Europe. So stick AV as it likely to keep us in Europe’s clutches forevermore.

  36. 36
    Engineer says:

    Under FPTP, you get one vote to cast as you think best. Most vote for their preferred candidate, or at any rate, the one they dislike least. Under the other systems, you have the possibilities of trying to second-guess the results, and influencing it by ranking the candidates most likely to prevent (or ensure) your preferred result.

    Besides, it’s bad enough working out one decent candidate, never mind ranking the swines.

    Keep It Simple.

  37. 37
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Come on England!

  38. 38
    Crikey says:

    Yes indeed. Events have proved that to be the case. Also the appalling prospect of someone like Blair becoming president or head of state has rekindled my support for a monarchy.

  39. 39
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    But they’re not interested in simple. They’re interested in the best outcome (ie the most votes) for their party – even if it isn’t a fair system.

    We voted these people in as our representatives so we all got what we deserved.

  40. 40

    Yes! Now all we have to figure out is how to get rid of them all.

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Engineer says:

    Then don’t play into their hands.

  43. 43
    Godzilla says:

    Grrrr! Growl! *zaps things with killer laser eyes*

  44. 44
    misterned says:

    the problem with that argument is the fact that AV is less democratic than FPTP. The safe seat problem remains and in the marginals, you risk accidentally electing the candidates that almost nobody wanted.

    Why replace a flawed system with a completely shit one.

  45. 45
    Pig Sick says:

    You were beastly to our POW’s

  46. 46
    misterned says:

    And it does not solve the problem of safe seats producing arrogant and out of touch MPs, and it makes the results in the marginals a lot more complicated and a lot less democratic.

  47. 47
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    “It doesnt matter who you vote for, The goverment always gets in”

  48. 48
    Ed Balls says:

    Someone on the street called me a cult. At least, I think that’s what he said.

  49. 49
    Gordon Brown stinks of shit says:

    I nominate Billy’s caption of “landlord hires pickpocket to get his money back” for comment of the day. Come on, Guido, Billy’s been waiting long enough. With an average of 1000 posts a day, it was only a matter of time before one of them would be actually funny.

  50. 50
    Arthur Andersen says:

    Paid politicians were brought in to get rid of corruption!

  51. 51
    misterned says:

    “you do not have to vote tactically” is one of the most laughably ridiculously stupid and wrong arguments I have heard in favour of AV yet.

    AV is all about voting tactically. How the hell else did Ed Miliband win the labour leadership by coming second in the vote and Dave Miliband lose it by winning the vote? And you claim this is democratic?

  52. 52
    Engineer says:

    Didn’t work, did it. The corruption just morphed, and they stopped resigning when they were caught out.

  53. 53
    misterned says:

    It didn’t work then. It exponentially increased the corruption.

  54. 54
    Why not? says:

    Free beer. Ban women’s clothing.
    ()And lock up fat or ugly women.)

  55. 55
    misterned says:

    Why are you voting yes?

  56. 56
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Nah that would mean i win the caption comp lol :-)

  57. 57
    albacore says:

    I see Wonder Dave has finessed the the art of long-term strategy down to manageable, 90-day chunks.
    Kinda puts the whole AV/FPTP fiddle-faddle into perspective, that.

  58. 58
    the general public says:

    A man of principles? What on earth is he doing in politics…..

  59. 59
    Andy J says:

    No to AV Yes to PR

  60. 60
  61. 61
    Tony E says:

    The argument is very simple – it removes the principle of ‘One Man One Vote’ in a rather surreptitious way. Once that link is broken, then the voting sytem will have been ‘changed’ and the historical imperitive to keep the constituency link might well be weakened too.

    In short, AV is designed to be a poor system, and one which keeps out the smaller parties. (View the Australian experience for example). Once the cat is out of the bag, then the route will be to full PR and AV will have done it’s job.

    The politicians will cry – we tried to give you a fairer system and it wasn’t, but returning to the old system is not fairer.

    All but one of the political parties want PR, because it means that their leading lights can almost never be voted out of the chamber, because they will always find their names at the top of the list. Small parties will become parties of government, the gravy train will be unending and the corruption will be staggering. Don’t give them the satisfaction of making their first step this year – vote to keep FPTP.

  62. 62
    A Voter says:

    The point with AV however (assuming the voter understands how it all works) is that making a protest vote with a marginal candidate suddenly becomes safe, you can vote for who you’d prefer, and 2nd choice can still be used to keep out the candidate you really don’t want. With FPTP if you don’t vote for one of the major parties, your vote is lost completely. Lab and Con know this, which is why neither want the system.

  63. 63
    Anonymous says:

    David Owen is a twat. He has fucked up everything he has ever supported. With him against AV it’s a certain winner.

  64. 64
    wotson says:

    Owen and Gadaffi on the same side.Crikey

  65. 65
    Sleepless in Kirkaldy says:

    Society could afford corruption when we had an empire that brought the money in. The seeds of our running out of money were sown when we lost empire and had to pay the US back after WW2 (no Marshall plan for us).

    The only way we can afford the welfare state, NHS and big ticket military is to let the City get on with what they do while holding our noses and rebuilding some entrepreneurial base as fast as possible. I don’t care if the political class are corrupt if they get business moving again.

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