SO I have seen several angry angry Lib Dems throwing their toys out of the pram at Labour over the AV debacle.
Labour's support of the No to AV campaign is to blame! It's all Labour's fault!
Ummm... not convinced. Really not.
Did Labour support No to AV? Yes of course they did – it's in the big party's best interest to keep FPTP rather than go to almost-FPTP-but-slightly-tweaked-because-real-election-reform-is-out-of-the-question. It's highly unlikely that AV would benefit Labour so why would they campaign for it (and several Labour did though).
And even then it's a complete and utter deflection. We all know – everyone who had even the slightest awareness during this farce – that the principle “No” campaign was from the Tories, the Lib Dem coalition partners. The Tory papers also did a bang up job of manipulating, lying, and scaremongering – the Daily Mail was very firm on the matter.
The Tories were the ones leaping for Cleggy's throat, the Tories were the ones who lead the charge here, the Tories and their supporters were the loudest, most aggressive and the most underhand tactics.
So want someone to blame? Blame the Tories – who have zero respect for you, their vaunted coalition partners. Blame the Tories who treat you like convenient servants, useful toold.
Or, even better, blame the Lib Dems
How about blaming them for entering a coalition deal that threw their principles under the bus for the sake of AV – and didn't even secure a modicum of support or respect on that matter
How about blaming them for making themselves so damn unpopular – in fact, making so many of their old supporters outright hate them - that a substantial number of people voted no just to spite them?
How about blaming them for not even trying to strong arm the Tories into at least lessening the vitriol of their attacks? Cable and Huhne have been losing his shit at the Tory tactics yet not once did the Lib Dems declare “this is such a breach of good faith and respect and we may reconsider our position in the coalition”
Or how about blaming the whole “Yes” campaign for the most piss-poor campaign I have ever seen? I had 5 leaflets through my door for No – 5. Not one for yes – not one convincing me that it's not expensive or complicated or anything else. I was stopped in the street by no advocates, I can see posters by no advocates, I saw entire newspaper frontpages pushing the No position. Was there even a yes campaign at all?! Because I didn't see a bloody thing.
This farce means that REAL election reform is going to be a long time coming. Too many enemies made and, of course, a failed referendum. If we try to raise the banner for PR now (or any system that is a change rather than a tweak) the naysayers will be able to say “we had a referendum and the people said 'no'.”
All in all, it's an utter balls up.