Saturday, 7 May 2011


... Well, actually it wasn't, but the resounding "no" vote in the alternative vote referendum is welcome all the same. The British people have rejected a lousy electoral system, preferring the bad to the worse. They did so essentially because the "yes" campaign failed to marshall a single powerful argument in favour of changing to AV. The "no" campaign's shameless scare tactics undoubtedly had an effect, as did the desire to give Nick Clegg a deserved kicking, but they weren't the decisive factors.

What the result does not represent is a rejection of proportional representation, which was not on the ballot. It will no doubt be difficult for supporters of PR to be heard – let alone taken seriously – for a time. But this is to a large extent the fault of those supporters of PR who, opportunistically or stupidly, decided to throw in their lot with the pro-AV campaign even though they didn't want AV. You know who you are, and you should be ashamed of yourselves – or even better engage in some grovelling public self-criticism. You got the call 100 per cent wrong on this one, I'm afraid ...

More on this next week.

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