April 23, 2011 by staff
Voting Referendum, The former minister and founding member of the SDP, the forerunner of the Liberal Democrats, said if people were given a choice of proportional representation – voting method historically defended by the Liberal Democrats – that could be sold on the real benefits of changing first-past-the-post.
His words came as another survey showed that most voters are not convinced that switching to AV for elections to Westminster MPs would work harder and help prevent the abuse of expenses.
Lord Owen said the survey showed the arguments of the pro-AV activists were “no” less than two weeks before the country decides.
He explained: “The campaign for AV has from the beginning, said the alternative vote to do things that simply will not, and that includes the idea that somehow lead to a better voting system in the future.
“That is why electoral reformers have held a referendum on real reform: Proportional representation”
The YouGov poll for the No to Yes AV PR group found that only 29 percent of people thought Mr AV would work harder, compared with 41 percent who thought not and another 30 percent I did not. Mr. Clegg was granted a referendum on the AV as part of the coalition agreement with David Cameron.
The deputy prime minister this week used an article in The Daily Telegraph arguing that the expenses scandal had illustrated the need for a change in Westminster and AV help make the change for the better.
But today’s survey, 59 percent said they believed that AV would not have helped avoid the expenses scandal, while only 13 percent thought it would.
And 55 percent thought AV was not “closed the door” to extremist parties like the BNP.
Mr Clegg today to appeal to the “progressive” Labour voters. He will say he “instead of next to the progressives in all parts of the old building,” apparently referring to the Tories.
In a speech to a concentration of VA in Norwich, Mr Clegg will urge Labour supporters to follow, Ed Miliband, their leader, and vote for “a real and progressive change in our democracy.”
“There are some in the Labour Party who oppose AV. They are trying to block progress,” say.
“The John Prescott, Blunketts David, John Reid and Michael Martin are in the odd position of fighting a campaign that has most of its funding from major conservative donors who have always criticized.
“Work not the defenders of conservative means to ends. Look at the company they are keeping. The only political parties that support the status quo are the Conservative Party, the Communist Party and the BNP.
“I would not be on the side of the progressives in all parts of the old building and lunatics.”
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