The UK’s AV referendum and Scotland

5 May was the day of a democratic battle in the UK, a day that Lib Dem plan for “alternative vote” was rejected. In Iran, our main fight is a fight between the Islamic barbarism and the democracy, but the the main fight in UK is a fight between some stupid democrat political parties, that are so stupid and so bastard. But their fight is a democratic fight and all of them respect the people’s vote. The UK is one of the most complicated democracy, and the stupid royal family, the stupid unelected House of Lords, and many other stupid British issues are much more important than their stupid voting system. In fact, the stupid Lib Dem’s AV destroyed Lib Dem plans for elected House of Lords, that seemed more important and more acceptable. Now some Tories say :”David Cameron will not support Clegg to force through Liberal Democrat plans to create an elected House of Lords despite a commitment to reform in the Coalition agreement”. When Unemployment is rising, the NHS faces deep cuts, libraries, leisure centers and Sure Starts are slamming their doors, while university fees terrify families, middle incomes shrink and growing ranks of economists warn that Tories plans are sending the UK into a downward spiral, Tories and Cameron feel that they win the stupid referendum. There is no doubt that the need to develop “a properly representative system”, is a very important for the UK, but the stupid AV was not “a properly representative system”. The Liberal Democrats have campaigned for proportional representation -which AV wasn’t.

AV referendum was about the voting system. Lets take a closer look at AV and voting system in the UK. What is the current system? UK general elections are held under the first past the post, where the voter casts an X for their preferred constituency candidate. The candidate with the most votes wins, regardless of their share of the total number of votes cast. What is the Alternative Vote? (AV) AV is designed to secure 50% or more support for MPs by allowing voters to rank the candidates on offer in order (if they want to). So they would put “1” by their first preference candidate, “2” by their second preference, and so on. If, at the initial count, any candidate receives 50% or more first preference votes, they are declared the winner. But if no candidate gets more than 50%, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and his or her votes reassigned according to the second preferences expressed on the ballot papers !!. The process goes on until one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote and is declared the winner !! However, it may be that voters chose not to rank all the candidates, and that no candidate gets more than 50%. In that instance, whoever ends up with the most votes wins !!! It’s so ridiculous I think it doesn’t help anything, except the chance of election fraud, backdoor tricks, dirty tricks, and British style of election fraud! Who can protest to the results of this stupid algorithm? An acceptable and meaningful alternative plan should says: “If no candidate gets more than x% (30% or 40% or 50%, etc), we have no winner, and it means that all candidates are morons/assholes !!

Some supporters of AV said : “The aim of securing more than 50% of the local vote would ensure MPs work harder to earn and keep voter support. Two-thirds of MPs at the last election were elected on less than a 50% share of the vote … It encourages candidates to chase second and third preferences, which lessens the attractions of negative campaigning” But the stupid AV did not secure anything. MPs could still win with any percent of the local vote. It was so stupid and really did not change anything. “Second and third preferences” among the stupid candidates of stupid parties, is a choice between morons and assholes, so meaningless and so stupid. There are two lead campaigns registered for and against AV. Each is a coalition of cross-party supporters and others from outside politics. For example, 200 Labour MPs and peers support the No campaign, alongside the majority of Conservative MPs, and the No2Av president is the former Labour foreign secretary Margaret Beckett. The Labour leader, Ed stupid Miliband, is, meanwhile, a high-profile campaigner for the Yes. Polls have swung one way and the other. In February, the Yes and No camps were pretty much neck and neck, then a Reuters/Ipsos MORI poll said that, among those certain to vote, 49% supported AV while 37% were against. Now the no campaign, of which Cameron was a vocal supporter, won the nationwide historic referendum on AV by an overwhelming margin of 68% to 32% on a 42% turnout.

The UK population is near 60 million (Iran population is 75 million), and around 46 million people were eligible to vote, the same as at a general election -British citizens plus Irish and Commonwealth citizens who are resident in the UK. The Electoral Commission said a total of 19.1m votes were cast across Great Britain, giving a provisional turnout of 42%. Only a few voting areas came out with a majority for a yes vote, including Cambridge, Glasgow Kelvin, and the London boroughs of Camden, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth and Southwark. With 439 of the 440 voting areas counted, the no campaign had established a lead of 68% to 32%, another wounding blow to Nick Clegg, whose Liberal Democrats had secured a referendum as one of their cherished prizes in negotiations with the Conservatives to form the coalition last year. Without doubt, the great double losers of the day were the Lib Dems, and Nick Clegg. Nick Clegg has moved to reassure shattered Liberal Democrats that he could engineer a political recovery by the time of the next election, and that the current mood of anger at his “betrayal” would dissipate over two to three years . In the first sign that Clegg understands he needs to do more to distance his party from its coalition partners, he argued in a change of tone that one role for his party would be to protect the country from a return to the unfairness of Thatcherism. He is implying that the ideology of an unalloyed majority Conservative administration would be well to the right.

But the referendum was not the most important matter of the UK in 5 May. The Scottish National Party (SNP) swept to untrammeled power in the Scottish parliament, giving its leader, Alex Salmond, a mandate to hold a referendum on independence at the time of his choosing within the next five years .The stunning result in Scotland giving Salmond a working majority of nine at Holyrood. In order for a Scottish referendum to take place, the Scottish parliament would first have to pass a bill setting up a referendum. If that was passed by Scottish voters, the Scottish government would negotiate with the UK government terms of independence including such issues as division of the national debt, North Sea oil, the future of the defence bases on the Clyde, Scotland’s membership of the EU, etc. In fact, the British politicians are very conservative and don’t give anything to the people directly and without any obstacle and difficulty. The stunning result in Scotland, caused by a collapse in the Liberal Democrat vote there and a rudderless Labour campaign, led Salmond to announce he would be holding conversations immediately with Cameron to “lay down markers as to what this result, what this mandate, means in terms of Scotland’s relationship with the UK “.

Some British comments on the mass media are meaningful and interesting: “On the subject of Scottish independence, (which is only a good plan if they resist joining the Euro). Why not a North South split? There are obviously two different countries within England. The split line being from Gloucester to Lincoln. Everyone South of the line hates Labour, Everyone North of the line hates Tories. It would work right?…The prospect of an independent Scotland, free from Tory England excites me. But it also saddens me. England, the original “thuggish petro state”, with its 40% Tory population that continuously re-elects majority Thatcherist governments and loves its gerrymandering and 19th century political system, might never move on without you Scots to lead us there. I suppose at the end of the day we could always emigrate. That accent takes a lot of getting used to, though! … If Scotland won independence, the Tories could win every election in what is left over… All the people who don’t like the Tories can come and live up in Scotland. And if the north of England want to break away from the south we may well extend a hand of friendship southwards as far as Yorkshire!”

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