July 2, 2010

A Super Thursday?

There has been mixed messages this week about the referendum.

First the good news: The most recent poll shows yet again an increasing level of support for a Yes vote.

But the recent UK general election showed how events in the London media can dominate Welsh voting intentions, and there is a large dark cloud on the horizon - The UK Government plan to hold a referendum on STV and are proposing to hold it on May 6th - the same date as the Assembly elections (and Scottish Parliament and English Councils). They want to do this so as to maximise turnout, and although they have not said it yet you can rest assured that they will also want to hold the Law-Making referndum on the same day.

Can you imagine the scene on the doorstep where a loyal group of Labour activists ask you to vote Labour, No to ATV, Yes to Legislative Power - shortly followed by a second group saying Yes to ATV and No to Legislation - followed by....you get the idea.

And how do you persuade voters that ATV is better than FPTP, when they are actually voting on the same day with AMS??

One thing is clear - 'Yes to ATV' is a much simpler message to sell than the 'Yes to give the Assembly legislative powers in accordance with Schedule 4 of the GOWA 2006 without the need to refer to Westminster'. We need to simplify the message, maybe

'Yes for Wales'

1 comment:

EagleDragon said...

The No campaign want the referendum on the same day as the Assembly elections because this would increase turnout, which is probably true. It is believed that a higher turnout would help the No side, well if that’s the case then why aren’t the opinion polls showing this?

The anti-devolutionists are far more vocal & it doesn’t matter if the vote is held on Christmas Day, you won’t stop them from going out of their way to voting No. So in that aspect a higher turnout could actually help the Yes vote.

Since this referendum will affect the future of Welsh democracy not only is it important to have a high turnout but equally important for the electorate to hear BOTH sides of the argument. A united yes campaign would be more difficult if held on the same day as the Assembly elections when the politicians will also be campaigning against each other.

According to the ITV Wales poll Labour could very well retain their majority in the Assembly next year., and I can imagine they will be campaigning for a yes vote to ‘Protect Wales from the Tories’. That would make things more awkward for the pro-devolution conservatives, who would be canvassing for people to not only to vote tory but Yes on one piece of paper and No on another (AV). They would also be seen as helping their Labour opponents.

The referendum should be decided on principle and not party politics. As well as a united yes side their must also be a united No campaign. The only problem with a unified No campaign though would be credibility. A group of Labour members working alongside hard line Conservatives & UKIP supporters trying to convince the Welsh electorate that Wales should not have the same powers as Scotland & Northern Ireland! I think some in True Wales realise this, hence why aany anti-devolution MPs such as Don Touhig, Kim Howells & David Jones are taking a ‘neutral’ stance

So Dafydd Ellis Thomas wake up!