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Eddie Izzard came to Belfast to say Yes!

1 May

Eddie Izzard being interviewed upon arrival at George Best Airport

Today Eddie Izzard made a flying visit to Belfast as part of the build up to the vote on Thursday about changing the way we elect our MPs.

An empassioned Eddie Izzard talking to people on the street about AV
Within an hour of his arrival, he had talked to people on the streets, leafletted outside Black Box, people on the streets and outside bars, given words of encouragement to runners in tomorrow’s marathon, met with political leaders, managed to get into two couples sets of wedding pictures (one with all the guests) and carried out various interviews with members of the press as he was walking along.
Eddie with leaders and supporters
He’s also met with many of the people involved in the Yes! campaign here locally from many parties and none. People who have been pounding the streets of Northern Ireland, making phone calls, leafletting at many events letting people here know that a Yes! vote on Thursday is a vote that really matters.
Eddie meeting with runners in tomorrow's marathon

Eddie was in Paris Yesterday doing his stand up routine in French. But from today through to Thursday he is touring the UK encouraging people wherever he goes to vote to make a small change that will make a big difference to how we elect our MPs to Westminster.

Join Eddie and many thousands of others by saying Yes! this Thursday.

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not able to pound the streets – make a call from home

20 Apr

With millions of postal votes landing on doormats around the UK – you can make a difference to the result in the referendum by making some calls from home.

a couple of weeks to go – leaflet delivery in Belfast

20 Apr

With only a couple of weeks to go before Referendum day on May 5th, it’s a day when the local campaign will be out and about in Belfast, and will be delivering some leaflets door-to-door.

Watch out for the leaflets and remember this is a small change that will make a big difference.

Press Release: Friends of the Earth say YES! to Fairer Votes

11 Apr

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland today officially declared their support for the YES! to Fairer Votes campaign. In the run up to the referendum on the voting system on 5th May, YES! to Fairer Votes is engaging the voluntary and charitable sectors about the importance of a YES! vote.

Speaking today in Belfast, James Orr, Northern Ireland Director said: “Friends of the Earth believe the environment is for everyone. It is a natural fit for us to
support a campaign which would make those who govern the environment be more responsive to people’s desires.”

Stephen Glenn, YES! to Fairer Votes Organiser for NI, said: “Naturally, we’re delighted to add the support of Friends of the Earth to our growing list. A YES!
vote means an end to having to vote to stop who you don’t want and allows people to express preferences for those who reflect what you actually believe. It

will force MPs to work harder and ensure every vote counts as MPs have to gain the support of 50% of the people.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
1. Photo of James Orr, Director, Friends of the Earth NI , and Stephen Glenn, NI Organiser, Yes! to Fairer Votes is attached.

2. Yes! to Fairer Votes is registered with the Electoral Commission as the campaign for a Yes vote in the Referendum on the Voting System on May 5th.

3. The Referendum on May 5th is our one chance to change politics. The Alternative Vote will:

  • Make all MPs work harder
    Two out of three MPs won their seats when most people backed someone else. AV means all of them need to aim for support from 50% of voters to get elected. So they’ll have to work harder to earn – and keep – our support.
  • Make your vote count
    AV lets you show your support for any candidates you think are up to the job. So if our favourite doesn’t win you can still have a say – it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…
  • Tackle the ‘Jobs for Life’ culture
    Most MPs are set for life in safe seats. It’s bred the arrogance we saw in the expenses scandal. AV forces lazy politicians to sit up and listen, and reach out to the communities they seek to represent – it makes safe seats less safe.

For interviews:

Stephen Glenn, 07585 400917

First past the post “an insult to democracy” – Kevin Maguire

6 Apr

Alternative Vote as easy as 1,2,3

Kevin Maguire the political correspondent of the Daily Mirror this morning backed the yes vote in the referendum on the 5th of May. He said:

“The Alternative Vote’s as easy as ranking candidates 1, 2, 3 and will increase people’s power ­­over politicians.

“I’m in favour because MPs will be more accountable.

“I’m in favour because MPs will have to work harder.

“I’m in favour because there’ll be fewer neglected safe seats.

“And I’m in favour because we’ll be able to vote with our hearts as well as our heads.”

This is man whose job day in, day out is amongst the MPs. He knows the ins and outs of Westminster like any other political correspondent and he says, “The old first past the post, winner takes all way we’re lumbered with is an insult to democracy. Twice the party with the most votes hasn’t formed the government.”

He says of the campaign for a no vote that they “treat people as fools when claiming they won’t understand a simple change.” This sort of approach has been insulting to people here in Northern Ireland where we do vote preferentially and do know the difference that a fair vote can have.

Don’t be taken for a fool, vote Yes! on 5th May.

Yes! in Derry/Londonderry

29 Mar

Our banner flying from the City walls at Guildhall Square

The YES! campaign has taken to the road to explain to people why it’s so important to vote YES! on 5 May. In the words of Gerry Anderson we went to Stroke City.

The team had an action packed day, campaigning across the city with Pól Callaghan and Martin Reilly, meeting John Hume, Colum Eastwood and Mark H. Durkan in and around the city as well as student leaders at Magee.  The campaign banner – Norn Iron says Yes – hanging from the city walls helped raise awareness about the move to fairer votes.

Northern Ireland organiser Stephen Glenn said:

“We are delighted to be in Northern Ireland’s second city to talk to voters and explain why such a small change will make such a big difference.  A YES! vote on 5 May will make MPs work harder for our support, gives us a stronger voice over who wins, and will stop “jobs for life” for MPs.  To have the support of Ireland’s Greatest in John Hume is a real boost to our campaign.”

Stephen Glenn, with John Hume, Martin Reilly and Pól Callaghan

With Mayor Colum Eastwood

With student leaders at the University of Ulster

Mark H Durkan joined us at "Hands across the divide" to say Yes!

Where does your MP stand on the Alternative Vote?

9 Jan
Constituency Map of Northern Ireland

Image Copyright CAIN Web Service

The supporters of the old politics have a problem.

They refuse to defend the current system and, as has been reported this week this week, they are now even confused about which MPs support them.

What really matters in this referendum is what the people want, not politicians. But since they are meant to represent us, it is only right that we know which MPs agree with the basic principle that they should depend on have to get more than 50% of the vote to get elected, and which ones feel that it is business as usual.

With the referendum just four months away this week, it is time your MP picked a side. Are they afraid to work a little bit harder? Do they back the Westminster “jobs for life” culture? Or do they want to give voters more of a say? Either way – we want them on the record.

Please take a moment now to explain to your MP why you want change. And if they don’t want change, ask them why they support first past the post.

Ask your MP “yes or no” now.

All we want is a bit of clarity. The more letters they receive, the more pressure they’ll feel to pick a side. So please take five minutes to write to your MP today – and encourage your friends to do the same.

Enniskillen day trip – 27 November 2010

22 Nov

We’re off to Enniskillen for the day on Saturday 27 November.

With only four votes between the winner and the runner up in the Westminster Election just past in May, Fermanagh & South Tyrone is the one of the closest fought seats in the UK.

"unionist unity" candidate Rodney Connor

Michelle Gildernew MP, Sinn Fein

With 45.5% of people voting for both the Independent candidate Rodney Connor and for Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew, the result was very very close.

By using AV, this would not be the case – so we’re going to carry out a sample of people in the town to show what could have happened if we had used the Alternative Vote system in this year’s election. Please come along to help.

Sign up to help by clicking here.