Friday, 6 May 2011

A is for Apathy

The noes have it, the noes have it. I don't think anyone expected otherwise.

We've put voting reform on the backburner now, possibly for another generation. All because the disgraceful multi-millionaire-funded No to AV campaign spread nothing but lies and disinformation on a massive scale.

AV is not one person one vote! AV means dead soldiers and babies! Losers win under AV! It's not fair! It's too confusing! No-one likes it! Nick Clegg!

The Yes campaign barely addressed these claims, and instead went on a mindless emotional plea, based on more exaggerations.

Referendums are supposed to be times for debate, where we can actually make progress on a subject, and even improve something. But we're going to get our first impressions on the subject from the official camps, because we're the public, we're not electoral reform experts. This is why I can't blame people for repeating the misleading claims.

To preserve a status quo when faced with a genuinely positive reform - you don't educate (that will detract from your cause) - you lie. This puts the reformers on uneven footing. If they lie, the public perceive the reform as a con. So they have to counter the lies and also educate. In these situations the public becomes overwhelmed and will infer the status quo is a simpler option. That's where their vote will go.

What I feel deeply depressed about is how people still suck this stuff up. Don't get me wrong, this doesn't come as a surprise to me, having seen people truly believe that the evil atheist immigrants are causing monthly wheely bin collections.

I've been through university and always been of a scientific nature. I've always been someone who checks things out. If I'm proved wrong on something, I change my opinion to fit the facts. There's no shame in it.

The difference between voting systems is fact. First past the post falls apart when there are more than two candidates: the winner cannot necessarily say "more people voted for me than didn't." AV addresses this, but again it has it shortcomings, in that it reinforces two-party systems and isn't proportional.

Whether we should switch to AV is opinion. Whether you think we should switch to AV or not does not necessarily have a relation to the facts. So when people say that losers win under AV, it's just an opinion - and a wrong one at that.

This is my problem. Why, as a public, we haven't seen through this, is beyond me. We have an amazing resource in the Internet. It takes 5 minutes to verify claims. We haven't done that.

I'm positive that this referendum is designed to induce apathy in the Yes voters. They weren't funded by multi-millionaire Tories, and they now know that money has again prevailed.

I'm feeling pretty apathetic now. I'm not sure what happens next.

1 comment:

  1. "evil atheist immigrants". You mean evil atheist Islamic immigrants, surely? And they cause cancer, not monthly wheelie bin collections.
    Apart from that, 10 out of 10!