Monday, July 05, 2010

Northern Ireland May Move to Avoid Referendum Clash

I grew up hearing of numerous clashes in Northern Ireland, they were often explosive and sometime incendiary both literally and metaphorically. Therefore it is interesting to see they are looking at avoiding one peaceful clash.
The clash in question as I have pointed out before in on May 5, when all the devolved areas of the UK are meant to be voting only it will clash with the proposed referendum on AV. Now the Northern Irish electoral authorities are saying that having both a referendum on AV and STV elections on the same day 'could be confusing'. Bear in mind this is going to be one paper by STV and one X next to either for or against AV for Westminster, also it is with an electorate that is well versed in preferential voting systems as that is how they always vote except for Westminster.
So it they are looking at moving their Assembly elections to March to avoid the clash, what about Scotland with a return to two separate ballot papers for Scottish Parliament and the referendum on the same day. Won't this also be confusing? Won't talking about a preferential voting system on the same day as you have to place two Xs lead to confusion?
Any message from the 'Yes to AV' campaign about how simple it would be may well lead to spoilt ballots on the Scottish Parliamentary vote inadvertently. By all means have a referendum on changing the Westminster voting system, but lets avoid confusion in other elections for the sake of cost saving.


dougf said...

If one is confused by the instance of two things being on the same date, perhaps one is really not bright enough to vote, and the Nation would benefit from one's lack of participation.

I'm tired of everything being lowered to the level of the most stupid. I think the overwhelming portion of the populace can quite easily divine what they should be doing, Even if they have to do two things at once. Those that can't ----- I both lack concern, AND I don't honestly want them deciding things for me, truth be told.

Stephen Glenn said...

I think there is real cause for concern talking about a different voting system on the same time as a tradition X marks the vote election. We saw it in 2007 with the introduction of STV at the same time as the last Scottish Elections. Some of us who were there saw it far too many times.

As for reducing things to the level of the most stupid, isn't that exactly why we have the X on the ballot paper in the first place. It is the sign of someone's mark even if they are illiterate.


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