Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Camapaigning against AV

Picture above shows the Labour Team campaigning against AV in Ashton town centre last Saturday. It was very noticeable that the majority of people agreed with us.

A lot of people were simply swayed by the fact that Nick Clegg supported AV,saying 'if he is for it then I am against it'.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

AV - the debate continues

No doubt some readers will be voting for or against fundamentally changing our voting system on May 5th. My recent canvassing experience has come up with the following reactions on the doorstep:

1. Is there a referendum?
2. Why is there a referendum?
3. What is AV - alternative voting?
4. I will be voting at the local elections but not the referendum because I don't know what it is.

One woman asked me for my opinion and when I said I was against it she said 'that's good enough for me - I'll be voting against it'

Another man quite rightly pointed out that despite there being several choices on a ballot paper a person can still vote for one person and does not have to use the other preferences.

As I have said I am dead against AV but in the interest of fairness I attempt to explain what AV is below.

There are different versions of AV, but it boils down to redistributing votes until one candidate achieves more than 50% of all votes cast.

Under the Alternative Vote System, voters run down the list of Candidates, ranking them in their order of preference by physically writing 1, 2, 3 etc.

Once all votes have been cast and counted, if any one candidate polls over 50%, they are elected and there are no additional rounds, but if no candidate achieves the magic percentage, the candidate who polls the least votes is eliminated, and all the second and third preferences (and so on) are redistributed to the remaining candidates.

This process continues until someone achieves over 50%, even if only two candidates remain until the end. That’s how you get your winner, moreover, the successor can be said to have been voted for, in one form or another by the majority of voters in percentage terms.

Simples isn't it?

Now I have tried to go through this explanation on the doorstep but I noticed people's eyes glazing over halfway through and then the inevitable questions - why are we changing the present voting system and how much is this costing?

If you like me are against AV make sure you vote No on May 5th - don't abstain and let the Yes vote win it.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Petition handed in to Council

Following the very successful day in Ashton Town Centre where hundreds of residents supported our campaign to keep Ashton Library open we have now submitted all the petitions we have received including the on line petition started on this blog to Wigan Leisure Trust. Above is a picture of myself and Trevor Allen presenting the petitions to Councillor Brian Baldwin, Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture. Cllr Baldwin said he was struck by the strength of support to retain the library and by how much local people valued the services offered by the library.

The result of the consultation should be known at the end of June.