#oneaday 40: When educated people simply can’t add up

Having decided that the Referendum on AV is not actually going to costs tax payers any extra, the next issue to consider is if we vote to bring in AV, how much will it cost to implement at the next general election? If you read or watch the #No2AV campaign materials, it will cost the UK £250 million. That is a lot of money in anyone’s book right?

Apparently though, the referendum itself is costing £91 million. That is according to the leaflet in favour of #No2AV that dropped through my door last week. I am not sure exactly where that number comes from – so would like to challenge it. Given we are being asked to vote at exactly the same time as the other elections planned for that day, which would happen anyway, where does £91 million come from?

That makes me suspcious of the next set of figures printed in the leaflet.

[Headline] THE COST OF AV IS

£250 million

The referendum alone is costing £91 million. And switching to AV would cost even more:-

£130 million on electtronic vote counting machines

£26 million on explaining the new system to voters

So that is a total of 91 + 130 + 26 = 247

I guess rounding up by the odd £3 million for dramatic effect works then? I smell all sorts of holes in this system, but without any debate it can be stated that the people who are advising us not to change our voting system themselves are simply unable to perform basic arithmetic. For me that is a fundamental problem. Whilst the English language allows poetic licence, mathematics simply does not. Stick to the numbers, however you have come up with them people.

Here’s an ad for the campaign. What would be really interesting to know is that of the ‘cross section of the UK’  in the video below, how many said Yes and how many were filmed outside the City of London? We only see those who say ‘YES’, statistcally how many said ‘NO’?  I am sure the #Yes2AV campaign are guilty of exactly the same tactics – I will look at those next.

So for me the second thing I can derive from this Referendum is a plea to both camps to try and stick to facts and also to back those facts up. Making up numbers has no place in reasoned debate, first past the post or otherwise.

#No2AV I accuse you of basic errors. Please correct them.

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