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'Is AV really so complex? Or is it just confusion marketing?' blog discussion

Former_MSE_Helen Posts: 2,382 Forumite
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • jasdev
    jasdev Posts: 112 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Thanks Martin! The more people in the public sphere that do their bit not to show their support for either the Yes or No campaigns, but instead tries to cut through the garbage being spewed by both sides, the more informed and empowered the voting public can be!
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  • hjones2
    i think the adverts for voting against the av are misleading, but i did see one advert that made it easy to understand and that was basically to have av then mps would have to work harder for us, and when they make a commitment to us as a country and pledges, then they have no choice but to go through with it, otherwise they risk being voted out, and the majority of this country are working class and maybe this would mean that they would have to aim a lot of their policies to us, i.e helping with unemployment, housing and the nhs because as you know it is this element who is most affected by these issues.....
  • Niksan
    Niksan Posts: 309 Forumite
    As hjones2 said, it will do away with the safe seat scenario, and the current system will allow a candidate with 40% of votes to stand no matter if the other 60% would rather have someone else other than that candidate, AV makes sense to me, but as Martin puts it, those who are opposed to it are going to say it's so complicated it's not worthwhile, but that would be expected, making it clear would do them no favours.

    But then again, if you prefer for one party to govern as you don't like the idea of coalitions, then I guess AV isn't the way. Maybe, I guess it depends on how people vote. :)
  • tgroom57
    tgroom57 Posts: 1,431 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    I am into the strict practicalities of the count. I don't like the idea that whoever is doing the count will always have to reshuffle the votes a few times before telling us the result.
  • evespikey
    evespikey Posts: 106 Forumite
    great post, I'm actually against it myself, mainly for economic reasons, but so many people are confused about it there needs to be more transparent information out there. I will support the result of the public vote but my fear is that most people still don't understand it.
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  • Gordon_the_Moron
    It is vastly expensive and doesn't fix what is wrong with FPTP, PR would fix these problems but have others of its own. I think it should be a choice of either PR or FPTP, IRV (instant run off voting, or AV, whichever you want to call it) is worse than either, I will never support anything that undermines the principle of one person one vote in such a way.
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  • lincoln-potter
    Against AV for several reasons although it is refreshing to see a post that is not overly bias for a change.

    The problem isn't how we vote but who there is really to vote for!

    Mortgage free - 01/05/2019, mortgage high £200k 2011
  • Gwyndster
    Gwyndster Posts: 14 Forumite
    edited 19 April 2011 at 12:29PM
    Much as I don't like first past the post, there are several things about AV that concern me, and as so far no-one has sent me anything about I think I'll be making an uninformed guess.
    My main concern is that the reason that AV is so attractive to certain politicians is that it ensures them a role they would never usually get in a FPTP system. There are sections of our society that will only vote for either the Conservatives or the Labour party, and could never bring themselves to vote for the other party. Therefore their second vote may possibly, by default fall to the only available major political party, the Liberal Democrats.
    I have no axe to grind either for or against PR/AV. Personally I think we would have a more democratic system if we just picked a person randomly from each constituency - no political parties, no funding and backhanders. 5 year parliament, no possibility of the same person holding the job twice.
    I know that the financial markets would probably punish us for it though as they would not believe that a government picked like this would honour its debts.
  • grahamm
    grahamm Posts: 81 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Another point on Confusion Marketing comes from those despicable "Vote No to AV or the Baby Dies!" posters claiming that introducing AV will cost £250,000,000

    What the No Campaign have done firstly is include £130m in that figure for the cost of buying and installing voting machines. Why? Well because that's what the Australians use and they have AV. But we are *NOT* going to have Voting Machines, we have a piece of paper and a pencil, just as we have had for generations and nobody is planning on changing that.

    So suddenly over half that £250m disappears leaving £120m

    Then they have included the £90m cost of the Referendum, but don't mention that this amount will be spent whether, at the end, we get AV or FPTP.

    So that £120m drops to £30m

    After that, they include £26m for "voter awareness" although they don't actually explain what that is or why it is needed, especially since, by the end of the Referendum, thanks to coverage in the media virtually all the people will be aware of how AV works.

    So the £30m comes down to £4m at least some of which they say will be needed for "more polling stations and more officials".

    But *why* do we need more polling stations under AV? We have enough for FPTP (or we should have, despite the debacle at the last elections when people were turned away because the polling stations were closed) and if we don't need more polling stations we don't need more officials. Also, of course, votes are generally counted by unpaid volunteers...

    So that £250m they claim will be the "cost" of introducing AV turns out to be smoke and mirrors designed to scare people into supporting a campaign based on lies and misinformation.
    if i had known then what i know now
  • grahamm
    grahamm Posts: 81 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Gwyndster wrote: »
    There are sections of our society that will only vote for either the Conservatives or the Labour party, and could never bring themselves to vote for the other party.

    You're correct there, indeed there's an old saying that in some parts of the country you could put a red/ blue ribbon on a donkey and get it elected.

    But what AV will do is to stop the phenomenon of "Safe Seats", especially when they are used by both Labour and the Tories to "parachute in" one of their cronies to ensure that that person can remain in Parliament after they've been booted out by their previous constituents because you can effectively cast your vote for "Anyone but that person"!
    Personally I think we would have a more democratic system if we just picked a person randomly from each constituency

    I came up with a similar system for reforming the House of Lords :) The only problem is that I, running a one-man business, wouldn't be eligible because there's nobody to do the work whilst I'm running the country :(
    if i had known then what i know now
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