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Preview of Tomorrows Political Broadcast from No To AV

April 10, 2011

Tomorrow the usual pattern of normality on TV will be broken as the BBC News ends and millions wait for the One Show on BBC One, they will not have to endure a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the English Democrats or SNP.

Instead the regular election cycle will be broken by Political Broadcasts for the Alternative Vote Referendum, on Monday the No campaign will be first. Vote NO To AV has got a preview (above),  the unique take on the standard (often channel hoped) Party-Political Broadcast comprises of three short films which explain the complexity, failures and obscurity of Alternative Vote (AV).

The first short film features the return of Rik Mayall and his Bafta and Emmy award winning character, Alan B’Stard MP. Mr B’Stard, former Tory and then New Labour MP returns to politics because the new AV system will allow him to say anything to get elected. In a very suggestive nod to the recent behaviour of Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats over the tuition fees increase (and other broken promises), Alan B’Stard remarks that once he gets elected, all he need do is “blame the other lot and say we had to do it in the ‘national interest’.” But that wouldn’t happen would it?

The second features a horse race narrated by renowned actor and comedian John Sessions, in which ‘Labour Lad’ appears to have pipped ‘Tory Boy’ to the winning post, only for both jockeys to be told that the third-placed horse, ‘Lib Den’, has claimed an unlikely victory.

The final film, and perhaps the most important and convincing is shot in a classroom using real students from South Devon College. There a teacher tries to explain how AV works and preferences are recycled. The sea of blank and befuddled faces which I’ve become accustomed too since becoming involved in the referendum is the real deal .

Matthew Elliott, Campaign Director of NO to AV, said:

For our referendum broadcast, NO to AV have tried to highlight the important issues at stake behind this admittedly dull subject. While the Yes campaign preach about the merits of a system they were dismissing as a miserable little compromise this time last year, our broadcast gives the British people a sneak preview of life under the Alternative Vote. AV is complex, unfair and a political fix: that’s why we’re urging the country to keep One Person, One Vote and vote NO on 5 May.

You can see the broadcast tomorrow on all 5 terrestrial channels (or Sky/Virgin/Freeview if your sad enough record it and watch it again):

Monday 11th April 2011:

  • BBC ONE                  6.55pm
  • ITV ONE                    6.50pm
  • CHANNEL 4             7.55pm
  • CHANNEL 5             7.25pm


9 Comments leave one →
  1. Joshua permalink
    April 11, 2011 1:36 AM

    This awful advert makes me want to hurt people. So misleading and patronising. The British people deserve better and AV offers that!

    • April 11, 2011 12:21 PM

      If only AV was better

      • April 11, 2011 7:46 PM

        It is better, it’s far more democratic. FPTP is a load of nonsense, why should someone that 65% of voters voted against be elected? I don’t like my current MP and I voted against him as did around 16000 others. AV ensures that a candidate has a majority (or is the last man standing). The current electoral system is broken and in need of change, personally I’d prefer STV which is the most democratic electoral system, but you can’t have everything you want, so the Alternative Vote is the next best thing.

        It’s time for a change, vote Yes to AV on May 5th.

  2. Daniel permalink
    April 11, 2011 12:26 PM

    I thought that horse racing analogy in particular was a bit off.
    In a race, someone only wins if they actually cross the finishing line.
    In FPTP a person can win with less than a majority – i.e. the vast majority might be strongly against them.

    (Take for example a Coalville Council Election in 2009 when a BNP candidate won with just 28% of the vote – did the other 72% feel represented?)

    If all the horses collapsed before reaching the finish line, would the judges think “Oh… well this one got the furthest – lets just declare them the winner?”
    AV makes sure a candidate has crossed the finish line before actually declaring them the winner!

    • Chris Owen permalink
      April 11, 2011 8:19 PM

      The whole point about AV is that an election is not like a race, the analagy is completely spurious. We’re not looking to see who’s fastest, we’re looking for the candidate who best represents the constituents. In that context it’s perfectly logical to choose a candidate who has the support of the majority rather that just picking the candidate who got one vote more than the next guy.

  3. S Chambers permalink
    April 11, 2011 5:03 PM

    I am appalled at the Broadcast I have just seen on TV the no Party.
    It contained no facts did not inform, and was patronising. Please give information not just silly sketches that massively over simplify the issues.
    We are not that stupid that we cannot make an informed decision

  4. Chris Owen permalink
    April 11, 2011 8:30 PM

    The only reason people find AV confusing and difficult to understand is because the “no” campaign is trying to confuse them. AV is exactly equivalent to a “run-off” system; this system is widely used and understood, indeed the conservative party use it. The only difference from a “run-off” system is a minor technical point: in AV you don’t have to ask people to vote many times over – you know peoples preferences in advance, so you know how they would vote as the candidates are knocked out in each round.

    To suggest that some people have more votes than others is a complete mis-representation of the facts. EVERYONE votes in each round, it’s just that it’s only the votes for the eliminated candidate that switch. This is just the same as in a run-off system: if your first preference were still in the running, why would you switch allegience in the second round?

  5. Francis McGonigal permalink
    April 12, 2011 12:47 PM

    The broadcast was dreadful and misleading. The analogy of the horserace is ridiculous. FPTP is akin to giving the prize to whoever gets into a lead initially without going the distance. It is unlikely in practice that a candidate coming third in the first round would win- but possible IF they have a broad base of support. Some figures were flashed up on the whiteboard: The top two get 38% & 32% with the suggestion that the third placed candidate could win. This is impossible as the maximum they could get is 30% therefore they would be eliminated.

  6. Rob permalink
    May 5, 2011 4:19 PM

    Argh, this ad makes me so mad! Whether or not you agree with AV, this ad is bullshit.

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