Yes/No AV Debate at County Hall

On Tuesday night I was invited to the Yes/No AV debate organised by the BBC, but held at County Hall. By attending I was hoping for serious points being made as to why I should vote yes or no in the Referendum on the 5th May.

There were four panel members, Candy Atherton, former Labour MP and George Eustace MP both in the No to AV camp. In the Yes to AV we had Lord Dartmouth, MEP for UKIP and Nathan Hallow for the LDs The ringmaster was BBC’s local radio presenter Laurence Reed.

Members of the audience asked questions to the panel members, who took it in turn to answer them. At first the questionable were answered in an orderly fashion, but this soon stopped and the panel members started to interrupt other members. By the end of the debate the panel were talking over the other members in louder and louder voices hoping by talking louder it would some how make their points better.

The main point of the debate was to explain to those present and the listeners of the radio show the pros and cons to the two options. The panel members missed this, and spent a lot of the time trying to score small and sometimes petty points on the other panel members. All the panel members made draw dropping comments that should never have been said.

I came away from the debate with no clearer picture of the best system. I am not sure what the general public will think of it, but you can listen on Thursday 28th via Radio Cornwall’s Laurence Reed Show from 12 noon and come to your own conclusion.

For me, it was like a pantomime show, in parts entertaining, but once over forgettable.


  • Robb Frost

    And there is the problem self centred politicians who care only for themselves. and to hell with the rest of us . not bothered about AV never going to vote again in any election what is the point EVERY LITTLE SLIMEY TOAD in Goverment or local Goverment are there to serve themselves to get the biggest slice and nose in the swill .

  • Richard R

    I still don't really know where I stand with the AV vote either. I'd like to vote for a change, because I feel like this might be the only chance that I will have to make politicians work a little better for me now, with a view for a completely 1 vote for each 1 person system in the future. However, I also have heard 'rumors' on the ground that dissuade me (like, that if I vote yes, we get the devonwall constituency change). I don't know which rumors on either side are true anymore.

    The problem is both sides of the argument have just ended up pubically resorting to a schoolyard mentality of squabbling and the public looses out by not really getting a good idea of the benefits of either system. I know a lot of the media the 'NO' campain has put out has been on cost and implication, I've also heard these facts stated in the no 'propoganda' are sheer scaremongering bunkem.

    What I want from my vote is for it to go to the representation that I choose. Each vote from every person should also do the same, so that everyone has a fair say in who gets into power, all over the UK. I would hope that a new system would get somehow tied into MP's responsibility to the public, enables M.P's (and councils) to have more power over local issues, regardless of area (as all areas would have proportional representation) and would somehow also ensure no policy by mp's could be undertaken that didn't have full public support (i.e the health and reform bill!)

    I must say, although I haven't fully made my mind up and have no affiliation to either currently; However I'm leaning SLIGHTLY towards the Yes vote (purely this is based apon the notion that the conservatives HATE the idea of AV, so this is a plus for it for me personally. Anything to make their life harder in the future can only be a good thing).

    So far my favorite breakdown of how the AV will work is Johann Hari's piece in the independent for the 'Yes' side
    To me this made the most sense of how the new system will work (but it is a 'for' argument) Although I've read a few, I haven't really seen a good 'NO' comment as yet. When I find one, I'll let you know.

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