Monday, 7 February 2011


Campaigners for a "yes" vote in the 5 May plebiscite on changing the electoral system are demanding that the BBC withdraws advice to its journalists that they should avoid describing the alternative vote as "electoral reform".

"All we're asking for is a fair debate – the status quo vs reform," says Yes to Fairer Votes's Jonathan Bartley in an email circular sent out today. "That doesn't seem like too much to ask does it?"

Sorry, but it does. It's not a referendum on "the status quo vs reform" but one giving a choice between the status quo and one particular option for reform – the alternative vote – that is opposed by many electoral reformers, some of whom (this blog among them) are campaigning for a "no" vote on 5 May.

The BBC should resist any attempt to make it appear that the "yes" campaign is the voice of electoral reform. It is the voice of the alternative vote, and that's all.

Paul Anderson

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