I grew up hearing of numerous clashes in Northern Ireland, they were often explosive and sometime incendiary both literally and metaphorically. Therefore it is interesting to see they are looking at avoiding one peaceful clash.
The clash in question as I have pointed out before in on May 5, when all the devolved areas of the UK are meant to be voting only it will clash with the proposed referendum on AV. Now the Northern Irish electoral authorities are saying that having both a referendum on AV and STV elections on the same day ‘could be confusing’. Bear in mind this is going to be one paper by STV and one X next to either for or against AV for Westminster, also it is with an electorate that is well versed in preferential voting systems as that is how they always vote except for Westminster.
So it they are looking at moving their Assembly elections to March to avoid the clash, what about Scotland with a return to two separate ballot papers for Scottish Parliament and the referendum on the same day. Won’t this also be confusing? Won’t talking about a preferential voting system on the same day as you have to place two Xs lead to confusion?
Any message from the ‘Yes to AV’ campaign about how simple it would be may well lead to spoilt ballots on the Scottish Parliamentary vote inadvertently. By all means have a referendum on changing the Westminster voting system, but lets avoid confusion in other elections for the sake of cost saving.