Tag Archives: #yes2av

Taking the Message of Fairer Votes to the Road #Yes2AV

4 May
Yes! Message taken to the gates of Stormont

Yes! Message taken to the gates of Stormont

In just 24 hours polls will have closed. But Yesterday earlier this week the Yes! ad van travelled across the Irish Sea to join the team here in Belfast and was taken to the very gates that lead up to Parliament Buildings. It also went to the offices of Dawn Purvis, Naomi Long and Chris Lyttle.

If you want fair votes to elect you MP to Westminster. If you want your voice to be heard and your vote to count then say yes tomorrow.

Polls open in 9 hours at 7am and close at 10am.

Don’t forget to vote here in Northern Ireland you need to take along your valid ID. So take along one of the following:

  •  A UK, Irish or EEA driving licence (photographic part)
  • A UK, Irish or EU passport
  • An electoral identity card
  • A Translink Senior SmartPass
  • A Translink 60+ SmartPass
  • A Translink War Disabled SmartPass
  • A Translink Blind Person’s SmartPass
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dishy historian explains why #yes2av is the simple solution to finding the candidate the majority is happy with

3 May

There are many videos about the Referendum on Thursday – this is one of my favourite at the moment, particularly given who the presenter is….

I’m proud to live in a country where we are free to make our own choices; but under the current system, that freedom of choice doesn’t extend to the voting booth.

Under FPTP, two-thirds of our MPs that are sent to Westminster, even though the majority of their constituents voted against them.

The referendum on Thursday is our chance to change all that – the winner under AV is the candidate that the majority are happy with. What could be fairer?

Dan Snow

Join Dan Snow, Eddie Izzard, and many many others in voting Yes to Fairer Votes on May 5th.

Polls are open from 7.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.,

Remember to vote in Northern Ireland you need to take your ID with you on polling day

  • A UK, Irish or EEA driving licence (photographic part)
  • A UK, Irish or EU passport
  • An electoral identity card
  • A Translink Senior SmartPass
  • A Translink 60+ SmartPass
  • A Translink War Disabled SmartPass
  • A Translink Blind Person’s SmartPass

crossposted from Gyronny Herald

The answer is AV. The answer is YES!

1 May

Join the Mullans in 7 days and say #Yes2AV

28 Apr

It is just seven days until the polls open and among other things we get a chance to change the way we elect our MPs. Ordinary voters all across Northern Ireland will be turning out to say Yes! people like the Mullan family from Portrush.

The Mullans preparing to say Yes! next Thursday

The Mullans may be voting in different ways on their ballot papers for the Assembly and Council elections next Thursday, but they agree on how they will vote on the AV referendum.

“We’re from different political persuasions, but we’re united in the belief that the current system needs reform.  We need to make the system to elect MPs fairer.  That is why we are supporting YES!

“At the last election, only three Northern Ireland MPs were elected on over 50% of the vote.  This means that far too many of our voices aren’t counted, something which a YES! vote will change.  It’s also easy to use, we’re already used to preferential voting here in NI, it’s as simple as 1,2,3.

“By voting YES! we will be giving ourselves a stronger voice in elections, because if your favourite doesn’t win, you can still have a say in who does – no more all or nothing.  It’s a small, progressive change which will lead to a big difference to our politics.”

Why not join with the Mullans and thousands of others in Northern Ireland and say Yes! next Thursday, 5th May. Polls are open from 7am until 10 pm.

Remember to vote in Northern Ireland you need to take your ID with you on polling day

  • A UK, Irish or EEA driving licence (photographic part)
  • A UK, Irish or EU passport
  • An electoral identity card
  • A Translink Senior SmartPass
  • A Translink 60+ SmartPass
  • A Translink War Disabled SmartPass
  • A Translink Blind Person’s SmartPass

McClarty joins growing Unionist voice for YES!

27 Apr

Londonderry East's David McClarty says YES!

Watching tonight’s UTV debate on the Alternative Vote referendum you would think that all the unionists in Northern Ireland were saying no. That is not the case as member of the both the main unionist parties are supporting the Yes! campaign.

But it is those outside the party machines who are standing up for fairness to the voters, something that is contrary to the no campaign’s claim that smaller parties and independents don’t support a move to the Alternative Vote. One of the first major unionist voices to back the Yes! campaign was Dawn Purvis who attended both our campaign launch and banner unfurling.

One of the other independent unionists from the last Assembly, East Londonderry‘s David McClarty has also added his voice to the campaign for a yes vote next Thursday. David was one of the moderates who left the Ulster Unionist party as it took a more hardline stance after the last general election, an election in which they attempted to tie themselves to the Conservative party for political gain.

David is on of the growing number of politicians in Northern Ireland who has realised that the people want fairness. When one five* in six of our MPs last May were elected with less than 50% support many voices were not heard. When the two main unionist parties attempted to stitch up a couple of seats by standing just one candidate against nationalist incumbents they showed contempt for the voters. It is something that they continue to do by saying no to the Alternative Vote.

Not one of the DUP’s MPs secured over 50% of the vote last year, indeed the three MPs with the smallest mandate were all in the DUP. For each vote David Simpson, William McCrea or Gregory Campbell received there were 2 votes against. This shows that the current system is only fair to the politicians allowing them to get elected with as little as one-third of the vote.

The Alternative Vote means that the winning candidate has to get over 50% of all the valid votes. That is a winning post that the politicians and parties cannot so easily control, that decision about who gets there lies in the preferences of individual voters. Elections will become more competitive as the candidates will have to reach out widely to gain that level of support.

Vote Yes! on the 5th May to have your say in who becomes your MP, to have your voice heard.

Remember that to vote in Northern Ireland you need to take your ID with out on polling day between 7am and 10pm.

  • A UK, Irish or EEA driving licence (photographic part)
  • A UK, Irish or EU passport
  • An electoral identity card
  • A Translink Senior SmartPass
  • A Translink 60+ SmartPass
  • A Translink War Disabled SmartPass
  • A Translink Blind Person’s SmartPass

* correction thanks to Joe Smith’s comment – nobody’s perfect.–Ed.

Release: Rathlin says YES! to fairer votes

28 Mar

The Harbour, Rathlin Island

Rathlin says Yes! to Fairer Votes

Rathlin Islanders welcomed the YES to fairer votes campaign to their shores. The campaign spent a day talking to voters across the island about the upcoming referendum on 5th May.

The islanders had recently rallied around to secure the island’s ballot box so that they could continue to vote on the island. The residents are well aware that every vote matters and want their voice to be heard.

Stephen Glenn, campaign organiser for NI said: “Everyone I spoke to today said they wanted politicians to work harder to get elected. They want their vote to count and their voice to be heard. That’s exactly what the new Alternative Vote system will do. Rathlin Islanders have just as much right to be heard and we’re taking this campaign all across NI.”

Every vote counts from Rathlin and beyond

ENDS

Community Organiser Laura Hawthorne on the ferry to Rathlin

Billy Bragg wants Northern Ireland to say Yes!

25 Feb
Billy Bragg with Stephen and Laura

Billy Bragg meets Yes! Campaign Team backstage at the Crescent Arts Centre

This week Billy Bragg has been in Belfast for the Belfast Nashville Songwriters’ Festival but performing and carrying out a workshop. The musician and songwriter always well known for his political stances is one of the Yes! to Fairer Votes campaign vice chairs. Northern Ireland Organiser Stephen Glenn and Community Organiser Laura Hawthorne went along to meet him at the Crescent Arts Centre and get him to give a message to the people of Northern Ireland.

Why is Billy so keen to see a change in the way we vote in Westminster elections? He says:

“One of the worst aspects of our current voting system is the existence of so many ‘safe seats’, where the same party gets elected time and time again on a minority of votes, a phenomenon that undermines voter participation. Alternative Vote will challenge the safely seated MPs to get off their bums and start seeking the votes of the majority of voters in their constituency, forcing them to reach out beyond their natural supporters.”

In Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland we are hoping that our MPs do start to reach out beyond their natural supporters. That would mean that we are starting to have an existence that truly is shared. So if you want your MP to work harder and get off their “bums” to seek your vote, stand up say Yes! and get others to do so on 5 May. Contact us to out how you can get involved.

Here are a few words from Billy.

Why I’m Backing Fairer Votes? – Stephen Glenn NI Organiser

9 Dec

Stephen Glenn out campaigning for Fairer Votes

As I am heading up the campaign for Fairer Votes here in Northern Ireland I thought it was only fair to let you know my story as to why I feel strongly about this issue.

 

Back in late 1985-6 we had the mass resignation of Unionist MPs across Northern Ireland and the subsequent by elections in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

The bulk of January found me off school on study leave for my mock exams, which is why on one Wednesday morning I found myself in Bangor’s market. Through the mêlée I suddenly found myself facing the rather familiar figure of one of Northern Ireland’s leading politicians, alongside the local recently resigned MP and then mere Unionist candidate for North Down Jim Kilfedder. A familiar voice then asked me:

“Young man, can Jim here rely on your vote on January 23rd?”

I replied:

“No.”

Then seeing a startled look on both politicians faces expanded with:

“I don’t think I should vote for something or someone I don’t believe in, and I don’t believe that what you have done is correct. So if I were old enough to vote on the 23rd, I would not be voting for Mr Kilfedder.”

Being only 16 at the time and studying for my O’levels it was quite a brave response to Ian Paisley. But it was something that once I had the vote was something I have always stuck to. In each general election that I have voted in since that date I have gone to vote and placed an ‘X’ my only allowed mark next to the candidate that has most closely matched what I believe in. Sadly not once what that vote elected a member to Parliament, nor has it even gone to the person in second place.

Does it mean my views are any less valid that the many people who do get a say in the handful of close contests across the country? In my opinion yes. In the six Westminster elections I have voted in three have been tight races for the top spot, one involved 3 candidates none of whom were the candidate I voted for. Not one of the winners in those races had a majority of the voters backing them.

So half the time I have voted in Westminster elections people around me have been some of the few thousand who get to make a decision about how our country is run. Sadly the only way I could have done that would have been to vote, not for who and what I believe in but for whichever of the front-runners was least bad.

For the other half of the time I have voted in a constituency where the MP has what is pretty much a job for life. They may not necessarily have over 50% of the people voting for them but enough more than anyone else that there is no clear competition for their place. This can lead to the MP not giving all that they can do for all the people that they represent, because they only have to do enough to not upset those that are going to vote for them anyway.

AV will make your MPs work harder to get and keep their jobs. It will do away with the dilemma of do you have to vote tactically and not for who you believe in with you first preference. It will also go some way to tackling the jobs for life culture as it will shake more of our MPs out of complacency.

Join me in making sure that the people of Northern Ireland Vote Yes in May. Go to the Yes to Fairer Votes website and sign up to help. If you can spare an hour or two (or even more on a regular basis) either before Christmas on in the New Year make sure you sign up for the phonebank, and get involved telling people why you too want to see fairer votes for Westminster.

I look forward to hearing from and seeing you help out on this campaign for a small change that can make a big difference.

it’s off to conference again with us

4 Dec

UUP logo
Today is Ulster Unionist Party conference – so Stephen Glenn, Regional Organiser for Yes to Fairer Votes and Michael Carchrie Campbell, one of the Volunteer Coordinators are heading up the team to go and canvas UUP opinion.

Ulster Unionists believe in

Standing up for Northern Ireland

securing devolved government for this part of the United Kingdom – and that devolution will secure Northern Ireland’s place within a modern United Kingdom.

Yes to Fairer Votes campaigners believe in

a modern United Kingdom

securing a modern working Parliamentary democracy where elections are fought and won fairly.

There should be common ground between us.

Hopefully, we’ll see some of you there.

Some typical #NO2AV lies being debunked

30 Nov

The NO2AV campaign will continue to use these lies, so here is a debunking of them now, once and for all. There may be updates to this in the future.

Lie:

Alternative Vote allows supporters of smaller parties to have more votes”
(recently repeated by David Blunkett)

Debunk:

AV has multiple rounds of voting and all valid votes are counted in every round. If your most preferred candidate is still in the running then your vote for them will be counted, if your most preferred candidate has been knocked out then your highest preference who is still in is counted instead.

Lie:

Fiji abandoning AV shows that it is not a good system”
(recently repeated by Margret Beckett)

Debunk:

Fiji was subject to a military coup. The military government have abandoned all elections, it isn’t AV that they had a problem with it was democracy!

Lie:

“AV will result in permanent coalition government

Debunk:

The last 28 Australian elections (under AV) have delivered 2 hung parliaments, the last 28 UK elections under FPTP have delivered 3 hung parliaments. So not only has AV not resulted in permanent coalition, it has actually resulted in fewer coalitions in Australia then FPTP has over here!

Lie:

“AV will cement the existing parties in power forever”

Debunk:

No one can present a worked example of how this is supposed to happen! If I see an example I’ll update this entry – but this claim seems to have been plucked entirely out of thin air.

from Free People of England