Wednesday, 4 May 2011

I've now heard the broadcast on behalf of the Yes To AV campaign. It consisted, so far as I can tell, of two elements.

First, there was the politicians' syllogism so expertly identified by Yes Minister over 20 years ago:

  • Something must be done,
  • This is something,
  • Therefore, this must be done.

Then came the only uncontentious fact in the whole broadcast, that the BNP supports the No campaign. This prompted an argument that can roughly be summarised as "Ewww! Ewww! The BNP wants you to vote No. If you do, you must be a racist!".

Well, these broadcasts are meant to help you make you mind up. It certainly has helped me: No.


  1. Of course, the no campaign is entirely above such things...

  2. Well, let's look at that.

    Warsi pointed out the electoral calculus involved, and I think she is accurate in saying that more proportional systems give a greater voice to extreme parties than does FPTP. The available evidence certainly supports that - the BNP have MEPs, elected under a proportional system.

    It also reveals a fact about the BNP's stance that was conveniently omitted from the Yes campaign - that they oppose AV not because they favour FPTP, but because they do not think AV goes far enough, because they want full party-list PR of the type that has yielded representation for them in the European Parliament.

    So your link shows a reasoned and reasonable view being expressed by Warsi, and reveals that what I thought was the only uncontentious fact in the broadcast is actually blatantly misleading. Ho hum.

    Now, I haven't liked the No campaign either, but I don't think this link shows a problem with it.