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New #Yes2AV Postcards site launched


9:35 am - March 23rd 2011

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By Matt Wootton and Rupert Read

When the #No2AV campaign chose to lie last month about the costs of the coming referendum, Yes campaigners found there was no real arbiter of truth in British politics.

Sunny Hundal’s complaint was batted back and forth between Advertising Standards and the Electoral Commission. Yes to Fairer Vote’s campaign to petition the authorities fell on deaf ears.

But if we’ve learned anything from the art of reframing, it’s to take your opponent’s apparent strengths and turn them against him.

In this instance we’re not bemoaning the lack of regulation (as we constructively criticised the Yes campaign for doing) but turning that unavoidable fact into an advantage.

One way is to use the power of the crowd. Since there are so few campaigning rules in the referendum there is nothing to stop people sitting at home on their computers sending campaign postcards to each other, liking them on Facebook, tweeting them and generally pursuing their own online pro-Yes campaigns.

So that’s exactly what two of us (myself and Rupert Read) have done, and launched Yes! Postcards

We’ve created a choice of nearly 40 Yes-themed postcards that you can send to a friend. Or you can use the built-in buttons to Like the site on Facebook, post it to your profile, Tweet it, or 344 other options using the plug-in AddThis.

In a decentralised movement there is no reason why ideas cannot come from “below”, from two guys on their computers, and be taken up by “higher” levels of a campaign.

With an acknowledgment that the Yes to Fairer Votes operation is understaffed and underfunded for a mission of convincing every single person in the country, it seems obvious that the grass-roots (which really just means everybody else) need to participate, need to be powerful and need to be creative.

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Reader comments


Sign up U2 and you could issue Postcards From The Edge (backing the Middle of the Road).

Great idea – and more interesting than some of the official Yes publicity, certainly – but some ambiguities or inaccuracies in your descriptions of AV.

“Alternative Vote ensures the winner is the one with the biggest total support”.

There’s no guarantee that the AV winner is either the Condorcet winner or the Approval winner: I can’t think of any other definitions of “biggest total support” that AV meets either.

“[…] to having a government wanted by only 40% of the country”

AV isn’t a proportional system, so that could quite easily happen under AV too – and probably would. (In so far as “proportional” can be assessed with a preferential system)

Depending on what you mean by “wanted”, anyway, but in the context of that postcard, it’s strongly implied that proportionality is the case.

“Alternative vote: because sometimes being given just one choice isn’t good enough”

With the example you’ve got, this is more a case for Approval, and seems to be playing straight into the “some people get more votes than others” fallacy.

Now why are there no postcards at the end with “You want to vote for this guy” (insert Cameron/Clegg/Miliband according to taste) “but keep Caroline sodding Lucas out?” Must be an oversight.

As for the one with the Mosley posters, what on earth is with that? Are you honestly equating FPTP to fascism?

4. valueofnothing

unfortunate “ads by google” match

“With an acknowledgment that the Yes to Fairer Votes operation is understaffed and underfunded”

Ha – that’s a laugh.Particularly when:

a) Electoral Reform Services Ltd have just poured £2.5 million into the campaign: http://www.no2av.org/03/yes-campaign-donors-call-emergency-meeting-to-double-funding/

b) the Electoral Reform Society have loaned 12 staff members to the Yes to AV campaign

Hi all,

the Postcards site went down yesterday after HUNDREDS of enthusiastic hits! It’s now back up, serving Yes postcards at
http://www.yes.greenwordsworkshop.org
I’ll reply to other comments soon. Thanks,

Matt Wootton
http://www.yes.greenwordsworkshop.org

http://www.yes.greenwordsworkshop.org

Hello all,
the site went down yesterday from hundreds of enthusiastic hits!
But it’s back up at http://www.yes.greenwordsworkshop.org

🙂 Matt

Thanks clm for some useful points. Biggest total support is really “broadest” support. I edited broadest to biggest because it sounded better. I don’t think that’s factually wrong. But broader is better, and your description better still.

Parasite: the Mosley poster is about people being ruled by a minority…

Mark: it’s good that the Yes campaign is being funded. It’s been far too long that the Political Class in this country – – people like the No campaign – – have had their way, funded by millionaires and billionaires, so a little funding for a campaign to inform the public that they’ve been lied to decades, and then giving them a democratic choice, won’t go amiss. But I suspect you knew I’d say that.

Matt/7: Again, I’m not sure “broadest” is right either. That again sounds like it means the Condorcet or Approval winner.

It’s actually quite difficult to define snappily just who AV does elect.
– it can’t elect the Condorcet loser (if there is a unique one)
– it can’t elect the first preference loser (if there is a unique one)
– of the candidates not eliminated by the final round, the AV winner will also be the Condorcet winner within that subset, though there may be a candidate outside that subset who more than 50% of voters with an opinion prefer to the winner.
– and it’s non-monotonic so simple rules like “more first preferences are better” aren’t always true either.

I think it’s far more likely than FPTP to give a winner the electorate is reasonably happy with, but defining why that is the case is really tricky.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    New #Yes2AV Postcards site launched http://bit.ly/hxviV2

  2. Alex Hilton

    RT @libcon: New #Yes2AV Postcards site launched http://bit.ly/hxviV2

  3. Lee Griffin

    RT @libcon: New #Yes2AV Postcards site launched http://bit.ly/hxviV2

  4. Loz Kaye

    RT @libcon: New #Yes2AV Postcards site launched http://bit.ly/hxviV2

  5. Mark Thompson

    New #Yes2AV Postcards site launched | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/sbBxbBR via @libcon

  6. conspiracy theo

    New #Yes2AV Postcards site launched | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/gsPcCP

  7. andrew

    New #Yes2AV Postcards site launched | Liberal Conspiracy: bryan posted on Even fellow Tories know Osborne's tax … http://bit.ly/ffQohn

  8. The Oracle

    New #Yes2AV Postcards site launched | Liberal Conspiracy: bryan posted on Even fellow Tories know Osborne's tax … http://bit.ly/g5mTR2

  9. RupertRead

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/03/23/new-yes2av-postcards-site-launched/
    Check this out! Am happy how well it is going so far.. #Yes2AV!

  10. Matt Wootton

    An article (by me!) on Liberal Conspiracy, about our new Yes Postcards for #YestoAV http://bit.ly/gQFjcL #yesinMay #yes2AV

  11. Matt Wootton

    @Jim_Jepps Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see our LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  12. Matt Wootton

    @AdrianRamsay Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z +see our LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  13. Matt Wootton

    @Sneyton Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see our LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  14. Matt Wootton

    @sueluxton Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see our LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  15. Matt Wootton

    @matthew1butcher Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  16. Matt Wootton

    @DocRichard Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see our LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  17. Matt Wootton

    @HulmeGreenParty Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  18. Matt Wootton

    @sajeraj Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see our LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  19. Matt Wootton

    @MartinJDeane Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z +see our LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  20. Matt Wootton

    @camdengp Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see our LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  21. Matt Wootton

    @SomersTownGreen Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  22. Matt Wootton

    @rebelraising Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z +see our LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  23. Matt Wootton

    @KemptownBen Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see our LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  24. Matt Wootton

    @GreenSarahCope Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL

  25. James Mackenzie

    RT @mattwootton: Greens! visit http://t.co/j3h0hC9 #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://t.co/9bQYslp + LibCon post http://t.co/0vTWanZ

  26. Matt Wootton

    @gingerxhris Greens! visit http://bit.ly/g7zx8o #yes2AV + Caroline postcard! http://bit.ly/eZlC3Z + see our LibCon post http://bit.ly/gQFjcL





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