Tory MP Claire Perry accused of patronising voters in referendum ballot

Written by Gerald Isaaman on .

As voters went to the polls to cast their referendum Yes or No yesterday, a resident in Marlborough threw his own spanner into the claims that AV is too confusing for the electorate to understand how it works.

In a letter in the Guardian, Mike Pitts wrote: “Yesterday I received some leaflets from my MP (Conservative Claire Perry) asking me to vote No to AV – it is ‘complex, obscure and unfair’ and ‘the government will have to spend millions of pounds explaining to voters’ how it works.”

“In a separate envelope from her, I am asked to rank each of two lists of national and local concerns ‘from 1-5 in order of importance’.”

“Judging whether schools are more important than jobs, or the NHS more than the police, may be matters beyond the mind of a humble voter such as me, but Ms Perry has apparently already decided I lack such comparative skills and would presumably ignore me if I was to reply.”

“Parliamentarians who patronise the electorate undermine democracy. What better reason to vote Yes?”

Claire Perry told Marlborough News Online: “My email back to him said that I was delighted to see constituents actively involved in this debate as the worst outcome of all would be an AV result based on a minority vote.”  

“I said that is was a little bit disingenuous to conflate my survey with the AV vote as his rankings of local and national interest just help me to serve my constituents better, not elect a government!”

“I've also invited him to sign up for my e-newsletter.”