Nick Clegg’s electoral fraud….

Nick Clegg and his merry little band are being marched to the right....

Today Nick Clegg will officially launch the campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote in next May’s Alternative Vote referendum. It seems the Liberal Democrat leader is becoming fond of doomed political causes something which his position at the helm of the Liberal Democrats probably necessitates. Although I still feel on balance that Labour should avoid the mistake made by the Greens at their conference and have an overall neutral position (thus allowing its membership the freedom to campaign on whichever side they see fit) I feel that if a position is demanded it should be to campaign for a ‘No’ vote. Clegg is a fitting figurehead for a campaign which is looking increasingly out-of-touch with everyday life. The message that comes loud and clear from the ‘Yes’ camp is that they will have electoral reform at any cost and maybe this is because they can afford the price asked but it also shows a complete disconnection and one that should send warning bells to proponents of the scheme.

Some prices are not worth paying and this governments war on the poor in the name of fairness is defiantly one of them. Of course, it really doesn’t help that AV as a system is not worth five beans let alone the cumulative cost of this governments ‘austerity’. Some myths are exploded here but I would think that Labour Party members, who are taking part in an AV election, would be particularly amused by nonsense like ‘AV eliminates tactical voting’. Indeed, it in my eyes leads to a potentially worse kind of tactical voting which empowers the few at the expense of the many and it is that which makes lining-up with the ‘Yes’ campaign unacceptable. We are told we are wrong to line-up with the Conservative right and the Taxpayers Alliance but I think it is fair to point out that the likes of Nick Clegg are just as reactionary; indeed, Mr Clegg is in government with the self-same people we are supposed to be ashamed of ‘lining-up’ with so why should progressives allow themselves to be ‘shamed’ into voting ‘Yes’?

It’s quite clear following the events of today that AV will not be some kind of ‘boon’ for the left. Indeed, given Clegg’s comments it seems quite clear he envisages the result as being the permanent electoral dominance of the centre-right under himself and Mr Cameron. Australians can readily vouch this nightmare can easily become reality under AV where it has taken Labor huge efforts to break the near-monopoly of the Lib/Con alliance. Progressives gleefully voting for this option are like the proverbial turkeys voting for Christmas.

Besides it is not just the likes of the Conservative right and the Taxpayers Alliance in the ‘No’ camp. The GMB is financially supporting the ‘No’ camp and as recent opinion polls have shown its popularity plummet as people reach the same conclusion; this reform simply is miserable in every sense of the word. Labour should launch its own principled campaign against AV and any future leader should not appear with Mr Clegg in a vain attempt to pass off this bauble as some kind of ‘great reform’.

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About darrellgoodliffe

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