Posted by: Witch Doctor | May 7, 2011

Were they saying “no” to Change and Choice?


Over the past few years the vocabulary of successive governments has been over-generously peppered with words like “citizens”, “change” and “choice.”

Successive governments inform us unequivocally, that “The Citizens” of this country want “Change” and “Choice.”

How exactly do they know that?

Ah, “Citizens Juries” perhaps, My Black Cat?

We witches have never been able to work out what particular “Changes” or “Choices” they are talking about.

We think “Change” and “Choice,” in government context, are jargon words used to obfuscate and confuse.

All The Black Cats, being into the darker conspiracy side of things, think The Humankind are being brainwashed into thinking they want and need “Change” and “Choice” for some sinister purpose.

We witches don’t. We think the words “Change” and “Choice” are the symptoms of a peculiar kind of “Politician Creep.”

Regardless of whether or not a “yes” vote for AV would have been a “Change” for the better, the result of “The AV Referendum” perhaps should be telling the government something.

The Witch Doctor did not notice “The Citizens” in this country asking for a referendum on this matter. The decision to go ahead with this seemed to come from government.

We witches are not sure why “The Citizens” were asked to vote on this matter at this particular time.

We think there should be a strong groundswell from “The Citizens” before initiating a referendum.

For example, handing over UK sovereignty to Europe, would cause such a groundswell (if we were told about it), that a referendum on this issue would be mandatory.

Anyway, The Citizens who bothered to vote have now given a strong thumbs’ down to the Alternative Vote.

The 68% of the “Citizens” who voted  have said “No” to “Change.”

The 58% of “Citizens” who didn’t bother voting, have said “No” to “Choice.”

Are “The Citizens” of the UK stupid My Black Cat?

Or are they just fed up with governments imposing “Choice” and “Change” on them?

Do “The Citizens” think governments should be serving them rather than vice versa?

Do “The Citizens” believe they should be the ones who decide exactly what  “Change” is important to them at the time of their “Choice?”

Are “The Citizens” of this country voting against slavery?

Slavery to the imposition of bewildering “Change and Choice” constructed by governments for whatever purpose?



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  1. I think it’s quite simple – people didn’t know what AV was, what it would do instead of FPTP and why they should be voting about it, so it just got a great big BLEH reply from the electorate. Which is exactly what Labour and the Conservatives wanted. There was no real attempt on the part of Beeb or other major meeja to explain what it did. I voted yes btw. And you’re right, choice and change are words that are overrused. It’s just such a pity that in the instance when people were given the opportunity for actual choice and change, that they turned it down.

    • My Black Cat says she learned more about AV from the blogosphere than from any other source and wondered why that was. As you can imagine, this propelled her into AV conspiracy mode. I’ve no idea how she voted. She probably wrote an essay on the voting paper, nobody would have read it, and it would have been put in the trash can of spoiled papers! Incidentally, WD has come across a couple of people who were not clear what they voted for … They said they felt the ballot paper was confusing. Also, I suppose, those who most faithfully turn out at the polling booth are the older members of the population who perhaps don’t like or are suspicious of change, so the results may have been skewed by their votes. Who knows! One way or another it was bad timing for the “yes” brigade and that may indicate lack of judgement.

  2. I have read comments on dnuk from intelligent people I know well who, even after they have voted, plainly don’t understand AV and don’t even know they don’t understand it. In medicine it is always important to know when you don’t know and I knew that I didn’t know what AV was. I was hoping the newspapers might explain it to me. But the articles were too turgid for me to be bothered with and I ended up teaching myself from internet sources a few days before the vote. Both sides of the debate made doubtful claims. Some were close to lies. But the press did nothing to sort all this out for the confused voter.

    My guess is that many people simply did not get their heads around AV and decided to play safe and stick with what we have got. For the future NHS it might just turn out to be a good result.

    • Witches are not experts on the pros and cons of proportional representation, and what are the practical operating difficulties, but we are aware that’s what the LibDems and the Liberals before them have been shouting about for years. If the AV vote had been “yes,” would that have been an opening for full PR further down the line, or more likely, would it have been a nail in its coffin? A further reorganisation of the voting system from AV to PR might have stuck in the publics’ gullet and PR may have remained buried for a half century. And so, I’m really not at all sure what this referendum was about. Was the agenda really to bury PR for good?

  3. What happened was that the Conservatives would not agree to a full PR referendum with the Lib Dems, so they settled for a compromise in the shape of AV. AV is harder to explain because it’s neither fish nor fowl; it’s really first past the post but a very sophisticated form of it. This enabled the Conservatives to claim that there was no point changing and it was all too confusing. AV might have been an opening for PR because the ballot paper is very similar to the PR voting paper and would have got the English used to a more sophisticated form of voting, but none of the big parties wanted it. The reason for this is that the winner under AV has to get either 50% of the vote or be the last man standing and therefore bigger parties have to work to appeal to those who vote for smaller parties as well as their own. Its weakness is that votes only transfer from smaller to bigger parties, not the other way round. This video is a good explanation of the strengths and weaknesses of AV;

    • Good film. What would happen say if MBC was a tactical voter and she wanted the ConDems out at any cost. What if there were only four parties to vote for. LibDems, Conservatives, Labour and the BNP. Since she wanted the pendulum to swing she would tactically have to vote Labour as number 1, and the Libdems and Conservatives at 3 and 4. BNP, regardless what she thought of them, indeed she might not know anything at all about them, would need to be placed at number 2. I told her not to go there!

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