Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

AV: Tories and Eurosceptics are people too.

Posted by Jason O on Apr 28, 2011 in AV Referendum May 5 2011 |

One of the curious aspects of the No to AV coalition in Britain is the way that conservatives and non-UKIP eurosceptics have taken a Pavlovian opposition to the proposed new voting system. Writing as a centre-right political activist and blogger, I find this to be quite perplexing, because it simply does not make sense.

The argument against AV made by some Tories is that AV will allow the progressive majority of the British people to finally unite, thus denying the Tories power forever. Ignoring the shockingly undemocratic nature of the proposition, what I find really infuriating about it is that it just isn’t true. It’s a loser’s whinge, that Tory values are the values of the minority. Yet why is it that in the US, Australia and France, for example, the right is not only able to win elections, but win a majority of the votes? Are Tories so unsure of their own values, indeed their own country, that the idea of an electoral system that requires candidates to win a majority of the votes available in a constituency sends them into a panic? Really? They believe themselves to be that politically ugly?

But that pales into the distance when one considers eurosceptic opposition to AV. To their credit, UKIP and Nigel Farage have recognised that AV could give them leverage and possibly even seats in the Commons, by allowing Tory voters to lend a first preference safe in the knowledge that it isn’t splitting the anti-Labour vote. Aha! Cry the No camp. Doesn’t the same apply to the BNP? No, it doesn’t. Even I, an ardent pro-European, accept that euroscepticism in Britain is widespread, popular, and held by perfectly decent people, unlike the foul brew offered by the BNP. Could a UKIP candidate in second place behind a Tory gets preferences from Labour and the Lib Dems in a way that BNP candidates never will? The answer is yes. Of course, perhaps the question hinges on as to whether non-UKIP eurosceptics regard their euroscepticism as being of less importance than their party loyalty? Perhaps. Funny type of patriotism, all the same.

5 Comments

William Quill
Apr 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm

What I find infuriating about the No to AV claim that it would help the BNP is that they are less likely to win a seat under AV than FPTP. You could imagine a very fragmented vote with the BNP winning under FPTP though getting less than 25%. But there’s no way that in the same constituency the BNP candidate would get elected on preferences from other party (unless we’re already living in a V for Vendetta dystopia).


 
david morris
Apr 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Yo Jase

You seem to have missed the whole point of wassup in regard to UK politks 2day. It may well be that in years gone by, political parties had a set of principles that they would strive to, occasionally lapsing as realpolitik necessitated uncomfortable compromises. But since the loathsome Blair arrived on the scene, UkPol has been completely restructured so that expediency is the sole objective.

IDaves team of half-wits are resuscitating policies that even Michael Foot gave up on. The LibDims, who actually probably led the way in having populist expediency as a raison d’être but were just too irrelevant to matter before, have jumped in the deep end, frolicking in faux “investment” cutting and loads of authoritarian bollocks, just like ZaNuLiebor did before them.

To a disinterested observer with no particular tie colour to endorse, the parties and their policies are indistinguishable, Cos (& this bit is really simple) their principles are indistinguishable:

1. Get into power
2. Stay in power for as long as possible
3. Er….
4. Thats’ it!

The disconnect between voters and the local guvmint at Westminster will not be addressed by AV, PR or (happy day) abolishing the monarchy. Voters are being led by unprincipled, on-the-make pols who think they know better than we do what is best for us. Does it matter who you vote for between iDave, Nicko or (Call meMister)Ed when you get no difference who you elect? Does it matter if there’s a coalition between the “left-wing” Lib Dems and the “right-wing” Tories if you can’t tell the difference between that and the previous ZaNuLiebor guvmint ?

I realise you in Ireland may have had more practice at this & have become inured to the polworld, but does it matter whether you vote for one shyster huckster, or rank up to five of them?

Electoral reform is not the problem, a sea of completely unprincipled politicians who have sold the nation for a mess of pottage is the problem.

Kind regards


 
Jason O
May 1, 2011 at 8:11 am

So, when are you putting your name before the people, to give them the principled option. In Ireland, it’s quite normal for independents to get elected. Going to have a go?


 
david morris
May 3, 2011 at 7:36 am

Thank you for for the nomination !

However the first step is to become an Irish citizen, something I tried to do when the electronic UK passports were first introduced. I fell at the first hurdle, despite being
married for 30+ years to an Irish native, I was apparently considered not suitable
material (i.e. not Indian, nor am I a billionaire).

Kind regards


 
Jason O
May 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Could you pass, perhaps, as a Saudi horse breeder?


 

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