AV Campaign News No. 3 – 2/05/11
CAMPAIGNERS STILL SAY YES!
Despite the Tory dominated media’s attempt to exaggerate the number of committed NO voters the National Liberals have continued their campaign to maximise the YES vote.
* Leafleting teams in Devon and Essex and leaflets pushed by lone members through letterboxes in various towns throughout the UK.
* Stalls organised in Paignton, Hornchurch and Elm Park have been very well received. For example, in Paignton activists reported the following “We set up the stall around midday in the town centre. Not sure exactly how many leaflets were distributed, but a good few. We also talked to many people, including the former Lib Dem mayoral candidate, who was actually pleased to see a group out campaigning for a Yes vote. We also managed to persuade some ‘No’ voters that a Yes vote was essential. Basically we asked ‘Are you happy with the way things are?’ and the answer is usually no, so we put it to them a change in the voting system was one massive step towards putting things right.”
* Letters sent to councillors and businesses and the press (and printed! see below) explaining why electoral reformers on balance support the YES to AV.
* Internet and text messages asking people to vote YES!
Some people believe that the referendum proposal to change the way we elect MPs to the Alternative Vote (AV) system does not go far enough. After all, minor points of view promoted by smaller parties are unlikely to benefit as they would do so under Proportional Representation (PR). Even the architect of the referendum Nick Clegg once called it a ‘miserable little compromise’.
As one of those smaller parties, the National Liberals, we would of course prefer PR; it’s fairer and would revitalise our democracy.
However, if the NO vote wins we may never be offered a referendum again on any change in electing MPs at all for the next 100 years (the last one was in 1918!). But if the YES vote wins we believe that in the future we are more likely to be offered the chance to vote for some real reform.
So we ask voters, however sceptical, to ‘cross their fingers’ and Vote YES to AV on May 5th!
Campaign News No. 2 – 13/04/11
Whilst the official YES and NO campaigns have launched their respective campaigns (see http://nationalliberal.org/?p=2142) the National Liberals have continued to promote their own YES to AV campaign under the title ‘Cross Your Fingers’. This is because they are calling upon the public to ‘cross their fingers’ while voting YES and hope this will lead onto further reform, including the introduction of a form of PR. An update of the leaflet entitled HavE YOUR SAY was recently released (see http://nationalliberal.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/avbw.pdf for downloading).
• In Havering Councillor David Durant (and NLP National Secretary) has extended his AV survey beyond his ward to other parts of the borough. Over 10,000 leaflets have been delivered. The feedback indicates that voter interest is low (less than 100 responded) but the YES and NO camps amongst those definite to vote is Neck and Neck! David said “Clearly electoral reform interests the political ‘anorak’ but doesn’t enthuse the general public, understandably concerned about jobs, cuts and rising fuel prices. However this is the first major reform of how we elect MPs for the last hundred years. For those of us who take our democracy seriously anything less than a YES victory we fear will put back any further electoral reform for years”.
We agree with David and urge activists to do their bit in getting out the YES vote!
• Members have delivered campaign leaflets in Torquay, Sheffield, and Central London.
• In Elm Park the AV leaflet has been reproduced within the local National Liberal newsletter the Elm Park Voice.
• A letter explaining our stance will be going out to all our contacts in the near future.
In the meantime we urge all activists to purchase the leaflet and report back on their activities. If you would like to be involved please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write PO Box 4217, Hornchurch, Essex RM12 4PJ. If you can’t be actively involved in the campaign please give a donation or send a cheque to our address.
Campaign News No. 1 – 22/2/11 The National Liberals launched its YES to AV campaign on the 14th December 2010. This was combined with the launch of the cross-party People’s Alliance coalition which ultimately aims to create a ‘Grand Coalition of Centre’ parties (see http://nationalliberal.org/?p=1720).
To quote from the Press Release: “The campaign entitled ‘CROSS YOUR FINGERS’ is calling upon the British electorate to vote YES to the forthcoming referendum (May 2011) on introducing the Alternative Vote (AV) at future Parliamentary elections …we would have preferred a vote on introducing genuine electoral reform such as Proportional Representation (PR) where all shades of opinion are represented in the Chamber……however if the NO vote against any change wins, those supporting the present system will say “You’ve had your referendum, the matter is now settled for the next 100 years! . We are calling upon the public to ‘cross their fingers’ and vote YES and hope this will lead onto further reform including the introduction of a form of PR. A leaflet (bespoke versions by both parties) entitled ‘HavE YOUR SAY’ is being released on the launch date of the 14th December…… this coincides with the 1918 General Election which was based on the Representation of the People’s Act of that year that extended the vote to the majority of men and for the first time included (some) women. A YES vote will also result in voting reform.”
* In Havering Cllr David Durant (and NLP National Secretary ) has leafleted his ward in February asking for residents to ‘vote’ on whether there should be reform. He is receiving back replies and will report back in his local newsletter. The local group hope to leaflet a part of every ward in the borough in support of AV.
* In Sheffield our students have supported the YES campaigners. At a recent meeting the NO campaign organised a dishonest ‘hustings’ debate that didn’t include any YES speakers! A demo took place outside in protest. We hope to start distributing our national leaflet at future meetings. *
In Devon our supporters have been leafleting Councillors, media and businesses. They will be purchasing more leaflets soon. The next stage of the campaign will involve writing to the above explaining our stance in more detail and hopefully encourage them to become active, to report fairly and to back the campaign (ours or the official one). If you would like to be involved please contact us at email@example.com or write PO Box 4217, Hornchurch, Essex RM12 4PJ
Date: February 22, 2011