My email to Comment is Free on AV….
Dear Comment is Free,
You say it is your aim:
to host an open-ended space for debate, dispute, argument and agreement in which users are able to comment on everything they read
If this is the case then why has the case against the Alternative Vote system been consistently and systematically excluded from your pages? My information suggests to me that you have been officially approached by the No Campaign on at least two separate occasions who offered you pieces of a high quality, including one from a sitting Labour MP. They were apparently told that you did not want pieces about AV in at this time. This implies that you felt it was ‘too early’ to cover the topic.
However, a quick browse through your site shows that you clearly have a door that is wide-open to supporters of AV. Just five days ago you published a piece by Vernon Bogdanor arguing that ‘coalitions are the future’ and speaking in positively glowing terms about AV:
They will be even more likely if the alternative vote, a preferential electoral system – likely to help the Liberal Democrats, the second choice of many voters – is endorsed by voters in the forthcoming referendum.
This is not to mention the editorials The Guardian itself has published about the subject. Now, you might well argue that The Guardian is entitled to its ‘editorial line’ which it is; however, is it not then misleading to say that Comment is Free is an ‘open forum’? I would submit that it is; if CIF is merely a talking shop for those that support the editorial line of The Guardian then I would submit it comes dangerously close to violating trade descriptions laws to describe it as an ‘open forum’. At least have the honesty to say this is the case rather than presenting CIF as something it is not.
However, if CIF is truly an open forum I suggest you demonstrate this and allow the No to AV point of view to be heard. I look forward to your reply and appreciate your time in consideration of this matter.
A Guardian Online and Comment is Free reader.