Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Brazen lies and sick campaigning from No to AV.

I'm getting sick to the back teeth of brazen lies that are perpetually coming from the No to AV campaign, and so thought I'd write this to show exactly why they are completely wrong in their claims,.

They claim that a switch to AV would cost £250m, and then proceed to ask people what better uses that could be put to. First off, I don't think money should be an issue, a dictatorship would be much cheaper than a parliamentary set-up, but somehow that's never wheeled out as an argument for change to having a dictator. Second, the idea that it will cost £250m is a lie, not a misconception but a lie, and a lie upon which No2AV seem to be basing their entire campaign.

To make the massively inflated figure the No2AV campaign had to include the cost of two things, the cost of the referendum itself, and the cost of supposed 'necessary' voting machines.  Point one. How can you claim the cost of AV will include the referendum? The referendum will cost money regardless of whether you vote Yes or No. Are they now campaigning against the referendum itself? Because if so, they could forfeit and save the country a whole lot of money it might otherwise have wasted.

Point two. They claim we will have to spend vast amounts of money on counting machines. The only problem with this claim? An expert from Australia, where AV has been used for a considerable time, has stated that there is absolutely no need for counting machines under AV. And even if we did switch to machines, it was a switch we were looking at making under FPTP anyway! It is not an AV cost, it is a cost of any election.

That leaves a grand total of £26m for the switch to AV on voter education, and even that is a wild exaggeration based on the cost of educating Scottish voters about the STV, an entirely more complex form of voting that required far more information than simply putting numbers from 1 to 5 in order, I imagine the cost of that is covered almost entirely by the teaching given in Reception of Primary School.

If we're going to have a serious debate leading up to this referendum, and there is a debate to be had, then the No campaign needs to stop playing dirty and stop taking voters for mugs. Tell the truth, make your argument, and hope that people side with you. That's how this should be conducted. Or perhaps they're running scared?

Edit: I was linked to this yesterday, turns out not only are they lying to people, but they're resorting to the most sickening campaigning tactics.

NOT how a debate should be held.


Michael Shepherd said...

also worth noting, the referendum is at the same time as several other elections, so it's only going to add a minimal amount to those. much cheaper than if it was just the referendum that day.

DBirkin said...

Hello, I am no2av but not a fan of the posters so far though I am sure we will see better over the course of the campaign.

The wording is technically true but perhaps should make it clear that the referendum itself is included.

I would contest that stv requires more data than just ranking...that is what it requires.

Dave Secret said...

The wording is technically false.