British Chinese Say Yes to AV!
Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 4th February, 2011
Yesterday afternoon (Thursday), on the upper floor of a restaurant in London’s Chinatown, London’s Chinese-language media and political activists gathered to attend a Chinese New Year launch of the Fairer Votes campaign, complete with little red envelopes (usually employed to dispense gifts of money) to mark the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit and short speeches by Yes2AV (and Green Party) activist Jonathan Bartley, Merlene Emerson (Chair of Chinese Liberal Democrats), Neil Lawson (a Labour Party representative standing in for Ben Bradshaw MP), Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote and myself, as Chairman of London Liberal Democrats and a sort of honorary Chinese given my academic background; I dusted off my Mandarin to deliver the first two paragraphs of my speech. No Tory, alas, was present, though not for want of trying. The slogan ‘Yes2AV’ does not translate easily into Chinese (not least because there is no real word for ‘yes’), but the message was clear: that Britain’s electoral system is broke and needs to be replaced. Hence the enthusiasm with which many of us will campaign for a Yes vote in the forthcoming referendum on moving from First Past the Post to an Alternative Vote System. It is essential that all the diverse communities within British society, not least in multicultural London, get involved in and are reached by the campaign. There will be Fair Votes activities at the big New Year festival in London’s Chinatown on Sunday. But the campaign starts now!