On St Andrew’s Day 2010 we announced our plans to encourage voters to spoil their ballots and write INDEPENDENCE on their AV forms. Today we repeat that call and ask for volunteers to leaflet, blog and twitter their support for the Alba Voice campaign.
Since then the campaign has grown in support. Click on Wales wrote: “The idea is for voters to write ‘INDEPENDENCE’ across the AV ballot, thus spoiling their papers. Spoilt ballots must, by law be counted. The plan – essentially, to force the British State to host, pay for and count a referendum they didn’t want to have – is groundbreaking in UK politics.”
Stuart Mackay wrote: “AV is just a smokescreen for change. It’s British politics at it’s dire turgid worst. It’s puerile tinkering dressed up as change.” Adding simply: “There is no cost to spoiling your ballot, it’s a claim for real democracy.”
Caitlin O Hara responded saying: “At last someone with some life and energy. I’m supporting the Bella campaign because it proves that we exist. Anything to sink the Cleggoron nightmare”.
Scotnatus wrote: “There is a certain elegance about this protest action. The spoiled vote is on a referendum ballot which emphasises the ConDemLab hypocrisy in having their AV referendum but denying one on independence.”
Alex Buchanan wrote: “I think it’s a good idea mainly because in doing something you not only get noticed but you also feel empowered [look at the student demos]. I also think the lack of concern for the effects of the AV vote and Royal wedding on the Scottish parliamentary election requires a response.”
Naysayers, feinthearts and the terminally liberal have qualms about any actions such as these, but can you imagine the response of the British establishment faced with a renewed SNP majority, a failed AV vote and viral and virile campaign sabotaging the AV poll? An insurgent campaign for self-determination demanding real democracy and real constitutional change is the last thing the Bullingdon Club Cabinet could stomach.
The reality is that the longer the AV ‘campaigns’ drone on the less anyone cares.
Support has spread across the UK. In England Toque wrote: “I don’t see the point of AV and remain completely unconvinced by any argument that it is an improvement on FPTP – as far as I can see it’s just a sop to the Lib Dems designed to put off any move to a proportional system. It’s a cynical referendum that deserves to be scuppered. “
Alex Porter from Newsnet Scotland wrote: “We fully support this great initiative. It is a time to stand up to the captured mainstream media in Scotland. It is a time not for defenceless victimhood, apathy and deference but of determined struggle, engagement and defiance. We are no longer content to complain – we are waking Scotland up!”
None of the independence parties have made it their core message in this campaign. There’s good reason for this, it’s been a campaign where the SNP have fought on their record in office and their vision for the future. The Scottish Greens have campaigned on ecology and the SSP and Solidarity have campaigned for socialism. This is an opportunity to put the issue back on the map and remind the political authorities that the issue is live.
Dumb and Dumberer
Supporters and opponents of AV bring together the worst of both worlds. With John Reid on one side and Nick Clegg on the other, it’s difficult to tell which you’ rather see fail most. Either result will be a slap in the face for Dumb & Dumberer in Downing Street: A ‘Yes’ vote for AV would, we’re told be a disaster for David Cameron, a ‘No’ vote we’re told would be a disaster for Nick Clegg. Either way the campaigns are descending into farce.
A low vote in England (we’re told) would be an electoral muddle. This is the likeliest option. After foisting this charlatan referendum on Scotland and Wales on the day of our national elections, the disgraced ConDem government have further muddied the waters of the nonsense AV poll and pundits now fear mass indifference south of the border. An uninspiring campaign and the rejection of Nick Clegg’s credibility means there’s widespread disdain for the whole botched issue.
Paul Bickley, senior researcher at public theology think tank Theos, told Channel 4 News: “Both campaigns are trying to create interest by using exaggeration and hyperbole and over-egg the extent change would make… but FPTP and AV are close cousins, if not siblings, and in some senses a change would not make that much of a difference.”
So let’s turn a miserable little compromise into a voice for real change. You now effectively have 3 votes for independence on the 5th May – let’s make our voice heard. AV=Alba Voice. Vote Yes Yes Yes for independence!
So with this in mind we call for all Scots who support our country’s independence to write the word INDEPENDENCE in bold letters across the AV voting slip on 5th May.
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