Under the headline The cynical enemies of electoral reform think we're stupid. Those against the alternative vote believe they can persuade the British that we are too dim to count up to three, comes a confession from Rawnsley:
'I belong to that tragically nerdish minority who are fascinated by electoral systems and think they can make a significant difference to the quality of politics and governance. Perhaps you too are a member of this small club of saddos who enjoy teasing out the rival merits and demerits of the single transferable vote versus the additional member system.'
My answer is that I am indeed another saddo member of this 'tragically nerdish minorty'.
I also agree that David Cameron' speech launching the 'No' campaign 'was not among his best' as well as with Rawnsley's conclusion:
'Does the campaign to keep first past the post think that most Britons are stupid? Yes. Not only that, they are relying on the stupid vote to win.'
For me, this attitude of the 'No' campaigners was summed up in the following sequence from the speech. Leaving aside the fact that Mr Cameron seems have hitherto un-noticed problems with English grammar - four sentences are apparently "less than a sentence" - there is something profoundly patronising about his advocacy of simplicity.
And I've always been baffled by the way Tory and Labour politicians are so obsessed with political turn-taking that they're quite happy to defend a status quo that can and often does leave them out of power for decades at a time.
If you join the 150 other nerds who've (so far) watched the speech on YouTube (below), you may, like me, come to the conclusion that Cameron's case against AV actually amounts to a rather powerful argument for a more proportional voting system than AV (e.g. STV) - in which case one wonders why he's bothering to oppose what could be a first serious step in that direction.