Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots

Matt Wootton reports on the inventive and creative grass-roots campaigning for the Alternative Vote, that is taking off on the internet.

Matt Wootton studies cognitive policy with his colleague Rupert Read at the Green Words Workshop

While the official Yes to Fairer votes campaign has been criticised for an overly-conventional approach, unpaid and un-aligned campaigners have been coming together via the internet to produce videos, leaflets, games, postcards and events, overcoming the barriers of distance and anonymity.
One Facebook page has nearly 4000 fans.

Another Facebook group of which I am a member has been responsible for, amongst other things, producing a YouTube presence called “The People Say Yes”. Output so far includes a talking dog (Victor the AV Dog) with five different video messages about AV, who waves a little union jack on the end of his tail; a sober animated video showing how, contrary to the No campaign’s claims, AV is bad news for the BNP; and a video of the Jackson 5 song “ABC” with the Jackson brothers wearing Yes to AV rosettes, dancing on Westminster Bridge and singing: “That’s AV, it’s easy as 1 2 3”.

All our uploaded videos can be seen at The People Say Yes, YouTube page. One particularly fun campaign tool that you won’t find on YouTube is Let ‘Em AV It, a flash-powered online game where you take control of a friendly little Yes campaigner struggling to get his vote to the ballot box whilst battling the likes of a pixellated Ken Clarke, Rupert Murdoch and Nick Griffin. Stephen Fry has been playing it, and he tweeted as much.

There is also my own Yes! Postcards site , with over 50 different Yes-themed postcard messages. Our group is also collecting and “favouriting” other unofficial campaign efforts such as a video by one “C.G.P. Grey” who explains the Alternative Vote system with the use of jungle animals, a video that’s gone viral with nearly 100,000 views.

London-based singer-songwriter MJ Hibbett has written an upbeat cheeky song “I’m Saying Yes” (with the lyric “and I don’t care if that pleases Nick Clegg”). In Hibbett’s video Nick Clegg does a dance in fish-net tights, a wig and a mini-skirt. And TV historian and BBC One Show presenter Dan Snow is a favourite too, with his own video showing how AV is something we all do in our everyday lives. You can access our collected Favourites here.

Fate dictated that there would be only one official Yes campaign. That’s what the Electoral Commission asked for, and that’s what we’ve got. But there are more people than just the team at Yes to Fairer Votes with a stake in the referendum. There are thousands, if not millions of people in Britain who also care about the outcome. And the fact that there has been this swell of, dare I say capable and credible grass-roots output can only vouch for the sincerity, passion and commitment of pro-AV campaigners around the country, whether they are affiliated with the official Yes campaign or not.

43 Responses to “Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots”

  1. townfan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  2. neilrfoster

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  3. Iain Carson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  4. John Edginton

    Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots //bit.ly/iyQ3cL

  5. The Green Party

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  6. Penelope J. Goodman

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  7. Lee Chalmers

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  8. Ben Cadwallader

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  9. House Of Twits

    RT @leftfootfwd Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  10. Richard Mallender

    RT @TheGreenParty: RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  11. John Symons

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  12. manishta sunnia

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots //bit.ly/jednaY

  13. DougRouxel

    RT @leftfootfwd: 'Unofficial' #Yes2AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots //bit.ly/jednaY <- could this swing it?

  14. Curt Hall

    Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: All our uploaded videos can b… //tinyurl.com/3h3gvfl

  15. Rachel

    RT @manishtasunnia: RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots //bit.ly/jednaY

  16. Matt Wootton

    ooh, I have a new blog piece on Left Foot Forward //tinyurl.com/5ut2aeg Se llama Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners achieve success (etc)

  17. Trevor Stables

    RT @TheGreenParty: RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  18. Rachel

    RT @TheGreenParty: RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  19. Kirsty

    RT @DougRouxel: RT @leftfootfwd: 'Unofficial' #Yes2AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots //bit.ly/jednaY <- …

  20. Imogen Caterer

    Here's why I and some of my colleagues have been up to //bit.ly/lCZv39 #yes2AV #yesinmay

  21. Mevan

    That's me! AND YOU! Go us! 😀 @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots //bit.ly/jednaY

  22. Matt Wootton

    RT @Pssepto: That's me! AND YOU! Go us! 😀 @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success //bit.ly/jednaY Síííííí

  23. ShadowLightPhotos

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots //bit.ly/jednaY #YES2AV

  24. Ligia Cardenas

    Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: Output so far includes a talking do… //bit.ly/lkDe9B

  25. Politics 'n' Stuff

    It’s a shame how the official Yes and No campaigns have ‘hijacked’ the debate, we think the referendum would have been better without them.

    Whatever your views, it’s good to see some independent videos etc being made, it shows that many people really do care about politics.

    For what it’s worth we did one too “AV or Not AV? That is the question”, check it out at: //politicsnstuff2011.blogspot.com/2011/04/av-or-not-av.html or //www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXrH1rfJyhs

  26. Richard

    The “Let Em AV it” link is broken.

  27. Paul Perrin

    How could you leave out the original AV vs FPTP Ice Cream Man video!!

    //www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZzfZ9hCxq4

  28. LetemAVit.com

    Corrected link 🙂

  29. Dominic Browne

    Thank you Richard, the link has been repaired now.

  30. Emily Randall

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots //bit.ly/jednaY

  31. Louise Shaw

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots //bit.ly/jednaY

  32. Josef Davies-Coates

    The first “The People Say Yes” link is broken too. And the “Yes! Postcards site” link.

  33. Trevor Stables

    RT @leftfootfwd: Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ writes

  34. BenM

    I fear the cause is lost. Leadership of the YES campaign has been poor. It has focussed on irrelevancies like “AV will make your MP work harder” when most constituents respect the effort their local MP puts in, or nonsenses about stopping Expenses abuse when it won’t affect that either.

    Much more focus needed to be put on how AV enfranchised the average voter. That opportunity has been squandered.

  35. Rupert Read

    Ben is probably right. But it ain’t over til its over. Share share share these great videos and links!

  36. Elliot Folan

    Ben, if you really think that, they get out there and campaign – just as Rupert and the unofficial ‘Yes!’ campaign are doing.

    Don’t just stand on the sidelines and pour criticism on everything. Get out and make a difference.

  37. Daniel Pitt

    Unofficial Yes to AV campaigners are achieving success from the grass-roots: //bit.ly/mnnsWZ #Yes2AV

  38. Dave

    Don’t forget this poster: //www.letsavabeer.com

  39. CornwallNews

    The proposed AV v FPTP UK Referendum consists of a contrived, fabricated and simplistic bipolar choice of only two inadequate options set against unfit UK Electoral Law, unfit UK Electoral Registers and unfit UK Election Returning Officer negligible powers of cross-constituency scrutiny. Election Returning Officers will be unable to guarantee ‘One Person-One Vote’ nor to sign off ANY part of such a referendum as ‘true’, ‘democratic’, ‘free’ or ‘fair’.

    Here are fundamental AV v FPTP BOGUS REFERENDUM flaws:

    1. UK Electoral Law – NOT ‘fit for purpose’.
    2. UK Electoral Registers – NOT ‘fit for purpose’.
    3. UK CERO powers – NOT ‘fit for purpose’.

    A UK REFERENDUM MUST, ON PRINCIPLE, BE GUARANTEED TO BE VERIFIABLY AND GENUINELY ‘ONE PERSON-ONE VOTE’.

    IF THIS AV v FPTP BOGUS REFERENDUM IS ATTEMPTED IT WILL NOT BE.

    BOGUS UK ELECTORAL REGISTERS = BOGUS REFERENDUM:

    //www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/second_home_voters_1.html
    //www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/secret_ballots_and_second_home.html
    //www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/worried_about_second_home_vote.html
    //www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/kevins_too_busy_to_probe_secon.html
    //www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/game_on.html
    //www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/a_letter_to_the_chief.html

    //www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2011/04/some_second_home_voters_purged.html

    In the face of such corrupt and non-democratic electoral foundations, these may be the only rational responses to the RUBBISH REFERENDUM:

    BOYCOTT THE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT CONSERVATIVE PARTY CAMERON CLEGG COALITION BOGUS AV v FPTP REFERENDUM.

    OR

    SPOIL YOUR BALLOT PAPER WITH A SUITABLY CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE BOGUS AV v FPTP UK REFERENDUM – A LIBDEMCON COALITION CON.

    NOTE: ALL SPOILED BALLOT PAPERS HAVE TO BE RECORDED AND NUMBERS PUBLISHED.

    ANYONE WHO VALUES GENUINE DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES AND WISHES TO SEE GENUINE ‘ONE PERSON-ONE VOTE’ DEMOCRACY IN THE UK WILL NOT ENDORSE THIS ABSURD, INFANTILE, UNSOUND, NON-CREDIBLE, SHALLOW, RESTRICTED AND INSULTING BOGUS REFERENDUM WITH THEIR VALUABLE VOTE.

    CONSIDER THIS:
    IF THE NUMBER OF SPOILED BALLOT PAPERS EXCEEDS THE ‘YES’s, THE ‘NO’s or BOTH – WHAT NEXT?

    With our compliments
    The Editors
    CN

  40. blogs of the world

    Matt Wootton reports on the inventive and creative grass-roots campaigning for the Alterna… //reduce.li/vydaef #yes

  41. simon

    Dan Snow on YouTube is the best explanation I’ve seen – pass it on.

  42. The ‘Yes to AV’ campaign: let the post-mortems begin | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] The deep overall failure to message adequately, as my colleague Matt Wootton has argued here on LC. The problem began with the failure of the YES side to establish that there was a profound problem with FPTP. That’s the first step any campaign needs: ‘Here is a serious problem that needs fixing’. YES failed at that first hurdle. (more here) […]

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