sinister agent wrote:
The presidential style debates didn't help there, either. I think they made an enormous impact on the outcome (and arguably a good one overall - the tories would absolutely have been worse without the lib dems in), but they haven't helped the public understanding of how our system actually works at all.
Quite, and Blair also pandered to that, becoming 'presidential' in the way he acted. To some extent, that's why I didn't mind Brown becoming leader for a while—he wasn't of that photogenic 'look at me' crowd, to which every one of the three main party leaders currently belongs. There was also a certain cachet in saying you'd vote Lib Dem, which came off the back of those debates, but it's pretty damn clear people were either lying or confused, because Lib Dem support backtracked shockingly in the few days before the election.
For the record, I'm not saying that any 'no' voting is a bad idea - there are certainly reasons to vote that way. But the official campaign by that group has been pretty dishonest.
I agree that there are reasons to vote not, not least if you actually like the FPTP and single-party-leading system. Some people want winner-takes-all and hate the idea of compromise in government (a.k.a. They Never Get Anything Done). But from a system standpoint, the vast majority of AV's drawbacks exist in FPTP too (as outlined in that jungle animals video I linked to yesterday
), but it at least offers some benefits that FPTP cannot match, notably practically obliterating the spoiler effect. This, of course, is why the Tories are petrified of AV—they've ended up in government way more than they would have done by nationwide spoilers splitting the 'liberal' vote between the Lib Dems (and earlier versions/equivalents of the party) and Labour. AV will knock Labour a little, but it could hit the Tories hard, which, presumably, is why we see Labour tactically being in favour of AV. (If AV wins, just watch Labour clam up utterly on further reform—no way in hell will they back AV+, STV or any other PR-oriented system.)
Talking about the debates & the UK media's fucked up priorities, see if Nick Clegg got himself to fuck & resigned I reckon the belming masses would look more favourably on the Lib Dems and would in turn be more likely to vote yes to AV. Nae cunt seems to care about the parties any more, just the gurning cunts that they see on the tellybox. Plus everyone loves a good sacrifice.
The smart money's on Clegg resigning 9–12 months before the next election, assuming the coalition survives. Farron's looking fairly likely to take over. (EDIT: For the record, I'm not sure he'd be a particularly good choice, but there you go.)
Part of the problem with the Lib Dems, of course, is that a chunk of the top-tier and some of the younger MPs are a lot more Tory than the grass-roots of the party. It won't need a sneaky fucking over as per what happened to Charles Kennedy—he'll be out on his arse in a rather simpler manner.