Last Saturday whilst the Edinburgh Yes to Fairer Votes group were unfurling our muckle great banner and holding two street stalls the No campaign were hosting a debate on adopting the Alternative Vote. We managed to send along about a quarter of the audience. Here is what some of them had to say about the debate on adopting the Alternative Vote.
When it was Edinburgh’s turn to have one of the No campaign’s chain of debates, March 26, it was not to our knowledge publicised at all outside the 2 campaigns. Only 16 seats were laid out, so they were far from expecting a rush. It was held incredibly on a landing, with the stairwell straight behind us, in a small theatre. Yet the No speaker, Lord Falconer, spun to the local press as well as that audience, that an attendance of only 12 showed public disinterest.
Just as contrived as this, was his muddling of the picture. He wrongly counted the second choice of voters whose first choice is still in the race, when trying to claim an unfairness.
The invited Yes speaker Ian Baxter presented well the tactical voting problem, who you think can win versus who you really want. He said, without this problem some MPs who now have over 50% votes would not, so AV would make a wider impact than Falconer had
suggested. Questions from our side covered accountability and majorities against an FPTP winner.
More Yes than No sentiment was heard from the audience, so it came out well for us. No straw poll was taken, it just closed with go forth and vote.
Hamish who was also at the debate wrote to the Edinburgh Evening News
The city’s answer to AV is not “No” but rather “Don’t care” — which
is precisely why returning a Yes is so important. Politics has reached
the stage where even the second ever referendum in UK history is met
with apathy because people believe voting doesn’t change anything. But
that is exactly why AV matters. If you think politics is a waste of
time, this is your one chance to make a difference.