Those of you who follow me on twitter may have seen that I received a lovely piece of propaganda today. It was a letter from the ‘vote yes’ campaign regarding the upcoming referendum over changing our voting system from First-Past-the-Post to the Alternative Vote. Like all good propaganda it told me to do a certain thing and gave me subjective reasons for doing so. It did not give me any real information with which I could form my own opinion, although it did back itself up with the peer pressure of celebrities by using about a third of the available space to present photos and quotes of those supporting their campaign. I did hope for more substance in these quotes but they pretty much mirrored the ‘vote yes or you think politics should be unfair’ taunt obviously targeted at those with profound mental retardation
Suffice to say I was not impressed.
If you want me to vote a certain way, at least give me some information about what I’d be voting for. Do not dumb down the issue to the point that it becomes mere opinion. It’s insulting. We are not all idiots. We can handle information of a level slightly higher than the absolute basics.
If you refuse to do this, at least direct me towards an unbiased website, or other source, for further information that will in fact be information.
We are being force-fed far too much propaganda in today’s society and no-one seems to notice or care. This is not the first time I have had a campaign letter that has simultaneously insulted my intelligence and trivialised an important issue. The Lib-Dems junk-mail of a campaign letter was the most meaningless, offensive thing I have ever had through my letter box. They might as well have posted a poo with a ‘vote lib-dem or you smell like this poo’ post-it attached.
I think we should ban campaign mail altogether. The government should issue an unbiased group to publish an informative leaflet about electoral reform, exploring the two voting systems in some detail, with a case study or two of how the Alternative Vote works in other countries to get a bit of an understanding of how it might work in reality and the arguments for each. I’ll do it if they want. For free. Yes, I said ‘for free’. That’s how much I care about this.
So if I do vote ‘yes’ for the Alternative Vote, it will have nothing to do with your campaign. It will, in fact, be in spite of it. Just like when I voted Lib-Dem. Although, that didn’t really work out too well… I should have known from that campaign letter that they had no real substance and never did and were always just trying to give people what they wanted in a selfish swipe at power.
Anyone else care to comment?