Tuesday, 19 April 2011

AV campaigns falling on deaf ears

I have every admiration for some of the excellent reports on the AV referendum debate, such as the Guardian's but it's quite clear that this referendum isn't going to turn out well.

You can't blame Prince William and Kate Middleton for getting married but I'm sure 'yes' campaigners would appreciate it if they had decided not to. It's just one of a plethora of news stories smashing the AV debate out of mainstream news.

I don't mean it's not getting coverage, course it is. Yet today I read every tabloid and broadsheet and did some social media listening. All the debate is being generated through the core group of journalists, commentators, creatives and geeks who usually get excited about Westminster.

The man on the street is gearing up for Bank Holidays, the Royal Wedding, the FA Cup and so forth.

Now I realise this is always the case in politics yet this debate should be so much more. It should be more than a vote on AV, the miserable little compromise, it should have momentum, generate real debate outside of the political elite.

Alas, it is not. It hasn't captured the public's imagination and even the image of Nick Clegg weeping to Simply Red isn't going to salvage enough sympathy for the public to come out on his ticket, so he is left in the shadows.

It's therefore down to the wonderful couple that never was, 'Ed and Vince', to parade around and rally the 'yes' campaign - rally in the Tim Henman sense, over before it has started.

So what will this debate teach us about the future of British politics? Nothing, I guess. I'll estimate turnout at around 40% and first past the post will remain. This will be pretty rotten considering the protests, cuts and age of revolution we live in.

But that's the problem with this referendum. It's evolution when the people demand more. Or at least they would, if they were listening.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty much spot on with your predictions. Shame.