Sunday, 8 May 2011

AV: A Post-Mortem, of sorts

So, sadly, AV was not won.

I've been pretty angry about it for about 48 hours, which is often my reaction to when the public do something that I class as brain-frying stupidity.

To understand why the public voted against AV, I'd like to try to recall another event, the fuel protests of  2000. The immediate reaction by the public was to support the fuel protests. Fuel was expensive and all that. What I discovered in the week after, sitting in pubs was people actually debating it and thinking more about it. And quite a lot of people started to realise that there were downsides to such protests. You won't see the same level of support for the ones happening now as happened in 2000.

The problem for AV is that going into it, most people didn't have a clue about it. The YouGov poll of June 2010 showed that 11% of people understood it well, and 27% of people understood it fairly well. The vast majority of people were blank canvasses, open to very easy influence by liars. Had people been kicking the subject around for a while, they might have voted differently and laughed at claims that "some people get to vote twice".

The Tories won't be fighting electoral reform now. But we can now not only debate it, but can do so by repeatedly pointing out the lies. And if people realise that they got cheated, perhaps we get another chance.

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