STephen fry on why you should vote yes on the 5th of may Watch

Lazy Gun
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#21
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The last person I would take advice from when voting on anything is an actor (someone paid to speak words written for them) who doesn't even live in the UK most of the time.

Stephen Fry: "a stupid person's idea of a clever person". Talking utter b*llocks in a posh accent does not make you clever.

Anyway, he's the World's biggest apple mac fanboi, so his judgement and reasoning must be viewed as highly suspect. Frankly I'm amazed he can get his tongue out of Steve Jobs' ar*ehole for the 10 minutes required to do a paid voiceover.
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FrigidSymphony
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(Original post by DeeDub)
Well spotted. It assumes that four out of the 5 parties are the same (beer) which isn't the case in politics.
No, four of the five are different drinking locations, which serve beer- as in, say, four different parties that nevertheless follow a left-wing policy. The coffee shop is the conservative party that most people really didn't want. It's fine as an example.

Anyway, Stephen Fry is more intelligent than the vast majority of people on this board.
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py0alb
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(Original post by niall c)
The argument re beer would be that the left is split between Labour and the Lib Dems (fairly obvious if you look at voting trends for the past century; Labour's rise is proportional to the original Liberal Party's decline as the Conservatives stayed steady), and so in a sense the analogy holds: if all those that vote Lib Dem would prefer Labour to the Tories, just as your man at the pub would rather another pub than coffee, then AV is more appropriate. See this masterful piece: http://gowers.wordpress.com/2011/04/...ter-than-fptp/ . Clearly, this isn't necessarily the case - at the last election, many would have voted Tory before Labour purely on HR grounds - but the point stands.

Also, as for this 'celebrity' thing - the reason Stephen Fry is allowed to propogate his opinion is that, like Tim Gowers in the above blogpost, the man is bloody smart and has an educated opinion on the matter. The problem with celebrities 'abusing' their power comes not so much from the 'abuse' as when the average famous moron - say, Prince Charles - starts talking about something outside of his (narrow) area of expertise - as he has on homeopathy.

Finally, if anyone has a persuasive argument against voting yes on the 5th, I'd love to hear it; Gowers' piece and the atrocious arguments from the 'no' side ('one man, one vote?' Jesus Christ.) have me very much convinced in favour, presently.
A curious source to link to if you're attempting to promote AV...
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niall c
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(Original post by DeeDub)
Lack of the examination of methods other than AV.
Insufficient impartial evidence as to the effects of AV.

I am not FPTP fanboy, but I would rather the status quo than an ill judged change.
Fair, but isn't the idea that AV is at least a step in the right direction, where a 'no' will be pointed to to claim the public is against any reform?
Also, what do you mean by the 'effects' of AV? What exactly do you expect to happen? Experience in Australia points to neither political instability nor large dragons emerging from the ground.

The status quo seems pretty grim. Electoral reform since 1832 has been opposed with a reactionary appeal against 'innovation' whose effects were uncertain; none of those reforms, far bolder than this, destroyed the nation.
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niall c
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(Original post by py0alb)
A curious source to link to if you're attempting to promote AV...
Why?
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py0alb
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(Original post by niall c)
Why?
Because in bits of it, he tells the truth, things like "AV is not PR", and in other bits he tries to make a point about tactical voting and back it up with evidence from Cambridge, but... his evidence directly contradicts his statement. In Cambridge people were strongly encouraged to vote tactically, but as he says: "Conservative voters were not persuaded to vote tactically". So the actual evidence suggests that FPP doesn't involve as much tactical voting as we surmised? Talk about scoring an own goal. He also conveniently ignores the widespread nature of tactical voting in Australia.

Other than that, he doesn't really make any salient points, he just knocks down a few strawmen and doesn't really address any of the real issues at all. The fact that he bases his entire argument around the fact that FPP is a misnomer (so the **** what?) just shows how flimsy his analysis really is.
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DeeDub
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(Original post by niall c)
Fair, but isn't the idea that AV is at least a step in the right direction, where a 'no' will be pointed to to claim the public is against any reform?
Also, what do you mean by the 'effects' of AV? What exactly do you expect to happen? Experience in Australia points to neither political instability nor large dragons emerging from the ground.

The status quo seems pretty grim. Electoral reform since 1832 has been opposed with a reactionary appeal against 'innovation' whose effects were uncertain; none of those reforms, far bolder than this, destroyed the nation.
I am not sure about the step in the right direction argument. Electoral systems are discrete not continuous, there is not scale of electoral systems. Further on the point a peculiarity thrown up by referenda is that they have an indefinite mandate unlike goverments which have a maximum five year mandate.

The point about 'no' being taken as a vote against reform is a strong one, but that is the fault I would argue of those who called for the referendum. If they wanted to avoid that issue being such a problem then they should of initially had a referendum on 'Do you think we to reform the system by which MPs are elected?'. If you presented that to me tomorrow I would happily vote Yes.

By 'effects' I mean that countless times through history in all walks of life changes have caused effects sometimes desirable sometime undesirable which were not initially anticipated. I am not convinced that there is has either been enough consideration or openess with the public on this.
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James1977
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(Original post by FrigidSymphony)
Anyway, Stephen Fry is more intelligent than the vast majority of people on this board.
That may or may not be so but the wheeling out of celebrities by both the 'No to AV' and 'Yes to AV' groups in order to try and influence the voters perhaps highlights the sad state politics is in within the UK.

"Stephen Fry says that we should vote yes to AV and he should know, he does that QI program......"

Fact is the political parties on both sides of the arguement seem to have such poor grasp of their campaigns that they are unable to convey an opinion to the electorate without having to resort to "ooo, this nice man off the telly says....."

I'm still undecided on which way I will vote as I want neither AV nor FPTP but chucking celebrities and their 'learned' opinions at me won't influence my vote.
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DeeDub
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(Original post by FrigidSymphony)
No, four of the five are different drinking locations, which serve beer- as in, say, four different parties that nevertheless follow a left-wing policy. The coffee shop is the conservative party that most people really didn't want. It's fine as an example.

Anyway, Stephen Fry is more intelligent than the vast majority of people on this board.
Politics is more multi-dimensional than this analogy.
Intelligence and validity/correctness of someones opinion do not necessarily correlate, Ed Balls is an extremely clever man and very well educated but during his time at the treasury (both as a SpAd and as a Minister) there were some horrendous blunders made.
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Master Roshi
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(Original post by Craig_D)
Regardless of whether 'Yes' or 'No' is more justified (I'm on the fence), as much as I like Stephen I can't help but feel a little disappointed that he's using his fame and popularity to further a political cause. Charities are fine, but this seems like an abuse of his 'power'. He knows that him telling people to vote 'Yes' will make droves of his fans blindly follow him, whether they happen to understand what they're voting for or not.
Stephen Fry has broadcasted his political opinions for ages. A Bit of Fry and Laurie used to insult right-wingers all the time. He acted in a party political broadcast for Labour back in the early 90s. This isn't him 'abusing his power'. If he wants to back the cause he believes in this time round then good for him.
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Lazy Gun
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(Original post by DeeDub)
Ed Balls is an extremely clever man and very well educated...
We are often told how clever this or that politician is, and frankly it's all bullsh*t. If engineers and scientists were as "clever" as politicians claim to be, the human race would still be living in trees picking ticks off one another and arguing over who gets the best bananas.

The evidence of the stupidity, corruption and general uselessness of politicians is all around us: the economy, the state of the NHS, education, law enforcement, various wars we're in and shouldn't be, etc. etc.; all demonstrate admirably that "professional" politicians like the millipedes, Camera-on and Clegg are simply not up to the job of running so much as a bath, let alone a country.

The fact that so few politicians nowadays have ever had a real job in their entire lives is extremely worrying for the future of this country. Unless you have proven yourself in the private sector, you really should not be allowed to be an MP.

If your life experience consists of nothing more than a degree in politics and a few years working for a local authority in some non-job sinecure, what have you got to offer the electorate? Answer: very little that you haven't simply read out of a book.

All the best politicians we've had have been people who went into politics after successful careers in business.
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Captain Crash
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(Original post by DeeDub)
I am not sure about the step in the right direction argument. Electoral systems are discrete not continuous, there is not scale of electoral systems. Further on the point a peculiarity thrown up by referenda is that they have an indefinite mandate unlike goverments which have a maximum five year mandate.
I disagree on this. Whilst there might not be a spectrum of proportionality, AV modifies the electoral infrastructure towards AV+ and STV (generally speaking, the PR options that pro-PR advocates argue for). Changing from AV to one of these systems is a smaller step than from FPTP.
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metalthrashin'mad
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(Original post by Lazy Gun)
We are often told how clever this or that politician is, and frankly it's all bullsh*t. If engineers and scientists were as "clever" as politicians claim to be, the human race would still be living in trees picking ticks off one another and arguing over who gets the best bananas.
So in the days before engineers and scientists we were living in trees eating bananas? What about cavemen, or even the egyptian era, where science was nothing but the times religion?
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Captain Crash
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(Original post by DeeDub)
Politics is more multi-dimensional than this analogy.
Agreed, it is simplistic, but the analogy wasn't meant to recreate politics FFS.

The idea that the left wing/beer lovers might be split between different parties/pubs and thus let the right wing/coffee lovers win isn't lost even if we say some beer lovers would prefer coffee to going to anything but their favourite pub.

Edit: Also the point of the analogy is to show that AV is a natural, simple method that's used in everyday life, despite what the NO campaign says.
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CountMancula
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#35
Stephen Fry. Bore off.
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James1977
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(Original post by Lazy Gun)
We are often told how clever this or that politician is, and frankly it's all bullsh*t. If engineers and scientists were as "clever" as politicians claim to be, the human race would still be living in trees picking ticks off one another and arguing over who gets the best bananas.

The evidence of the stupidity, corruption and general uselessness of politicians is all around us: the economy, the state of the NHS, education, law enforcement, various wars we're in and shouldn't be, etc. etc.; all demonstrate admirably that "professional" politicians like the millipedes, Camera-on and Clegg are simply not up to the job of running so much as a bath, let alone a country.

The fact that so few politicians nowadays have ever had a real job in their entire lives is extremely worrying for the future of this country. Unless you have proven yourself in the private sector, you really should not be allowed to be an MP.

If your life experience consists of nothing more than a degree in politics and a few years working for a local authority in some non-job sinecure, what have you got to offer the electorate? Answer: very little that you haven't simply read out of a book.

All the best politicians we've had have been people who went into politics after successful careers in business.
A bit of +rep coming your way.

The very notion of 'professional politicians' sickens me. As you touch upon, a politics degree, a few years acting as a tea boy for another politician followed by a shoe-horning into a safe seat is not a suitable grounding for someone who may one day have to make decisions that have grave consequences to both individuals and the nation as a whole.
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username537845
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(Original post by Bubbles*de*Milo)
Well you're wrong then.

In Politics, there are no 4 identical candidates. The poster shows 4 identical pubs, all serving identical beer, in politics this does not exist.

This situation just does not exist - it is absurd. 70% of candidates may not vote for the winning candidate, however the poster implies that 70% voted for the same thing.. in politics, that 70% would be split amongst totally different candidates. The poster would be truthful if instead of 4 beers, it was 1 cider, 1 beer, 1 milkshake and 1 line of coke. The coffee would have won with 30% of the vote, and you would see that it was fair because the other 4 candidates all received less than 30%.

And which pub do you suppose should win then? Why should, say, the Red Lion win, when it only won 20%?

This poster is so infantile the designer should be embarrassed. It's as bad as anything the No2AV campaigners have designed.
Well no, it's not perfectly right, but it does provide a decent analogy. Substitute, for example, centre-left parties for beer and a more right wing party for coffee.
Then if you were to take second preferences into account then one of the 'centre-lefts' would win it.

The poster shows how people can want similar policies or positions but are not united under one group because of minor differences. This is capitalised on by the group where everyone who supports it has the same beliefs but they are much fewer in number.

Would it be fair for the right wing party to win and represent the whole constituency when 70% of people don't want it? Or would it be better for one of the centre left parties to win when when 70% of people would at least be moderately happy and only 30% wouldn't want it?
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Broderss
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Stephen Fry is an idiot's idea of an intellectual.
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jesusandtequila
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(Original post by Captain Crash)
To put this in the UK context, the single right wing party (or coffee) got 40% whilst the multiple left wing parties (beer) got in the region of 60%. I admit some lib dems may be more inclined to vote tory, but by and large supporters of left parties will support any left wing party (beer) over the tories (coffee) yet in FPTP this is the case.
Or indeed possibly vice versa come the next election (that is, swapping left and right).
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Dekota-XS
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No politician in parliament cares about students, not labour, not conservatives and not liberal democrats. So you can all choose to vote Yes for AV or No, frankly, the outcome won't affect your life in the slightest.
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