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

edited 19 April 2011 at 11:04AM in Martin's blogs & appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the news
436 replies 25K views


  • barbara22barbara22 Forumite
    117 Posts
    100 Posts
    barbara22 wrote: »
    For goodness sake! Die-hard reactionaries can still put just '1' next to their pet candidate and leave it at that, surely???

    And anyway, the important point isn't about the way we vote - it's whether we can generally be bothered to vote at all.

    Use your vote, every single one counts. :mad:

    Let's not get lost in small deliberations.... above statement seems to be accurate enough to me.
  • djb77djb77 Forumite
    17 Posts
    If we do get AV and in an election over 50% of voters decide they only want to vote for one candidate because they do not prefer any of the other ones. No one could get a 50% majority - so who wins?
  • chardirchardir Forumite
    228 Posts
    djb77 wrote: »
    If we do get AV and in an election over 50% of voters decide they only want to vote for one candidate because they do not prefer any of the other ones. No one could get a 50% majority - so who wins?

    The 50% always refers to the total number of votes still remaining. So if, say, 10% of votes are for party A, with no further preferences, and party A gets eliminated, those votes are discarded and the new winning post is 50% of the remaining 90%.

    So if all voters only express one preference the result is the same as FPTP.
  • Ostin wrote: »
    The fuss about changing the present system should tell you all you need to know about it. First past the Post is not only un-democratic it is ANTI-democratic and designed to preserve the oligarchy of a two party state.
    MP,s are not elected to do what the electorate desire but what the party whips tell them to do and you dear voter only get what you deserve - the result.
    AV will (should) end the ludicrous system whereby 30% get to govern the remaining 70% like it or lump it.
    Anything which will cause MP,s to consider what it was they were elected to go and do when they get into the house, and give them the freedom to ignore the whips must be DEMOCRATIC.
    Go for it my friends; you have only your shackles to lose.:T
    You are quite correct MP's are not elected to do what the electorate want because you can 'not please all of the people all of the time' only 'some of the people some of the time'.

    People elect MPs based on the politcs of the party they represent.

    30% majorities are the result of the split in voters for candidates, I agree 70% of people do not get the MP or party they preferred but if 30% represents the party with the most supporters thats democracy. If we restricted elections to two candidates there would be an outright majority but this is hardly a practical solution.

    The 50% threshold myth of AV is 50% of the remaining valid votes after all other votes have been exhausted, AV will result in even lower, so called, majority wins.

    I.E. If 60% use only their first preference choice (divided amongst several candidates not for just one) 50% of the remaining 40% (and only 20% of the total votes cast) will become the magic '50%'. The first 60% are exhausted votes.

    If this is the basis for fairness you have been duped my friend and if you find this hard to understand join the club.
  • ndallndall Forumite
    7 Posts
    raddyantic wrote: »
    The AV debate 'is old hat' The Jenkins Commission in 1998 rejected AV as it did little to relieve disproportionality.
    The Jenkins Commission also rejected FPTP and was operating under the assumption Labour would keep their 1997 promise to scrap it (anyone who thinks coalition governments are the only ones who rip up their manifestos are having a giraffe). The Conservative MPs do very well out of the current system and had to be pushed very hard to get even a referendum on a small improvement like AV.
    raddyantic wrote: »
    Simply put the AV referendum has been instigated by and to suit one particular party - the Liberal Democrats.

    It is not actually their preferred system, and if the current opinion polls translate into votes at the next election they will suffer under either system. If people really think the Liberal Democrats won't be "held accountable" they are in cloud cuckoo land.
    raddyantic wrote: »
    Irrespective of what you think of AV surely we as the British public should not be giving that b***end Clegg what he wants!

    I love a bit of swearing but I can't dicipher those asterisks! Deciding the future of our democracy based on what you think about one man doesn't seem particularly sensible.
    Only Australia, Fiji, and Papa New Guinea use AV in the whole world - so that probably tells you a lot in itself. Yes first past the post is not perfect but might be a case of sticking to the tried and tested method.
    True. We are choosing between two imperfect systems. No democracy has adopted FPTP in the last 30 years and AV is only small improvement on that. Most have even better systems, but the politicians won't give us the option to choose those. The countries that do still have FPTP do so for reasons of inertia, obviously the people in power there are the ones that have benefitted from it and are reluctant to improve it.
    Finally one important thing we have to look at is COST to the British Tax Payer at a time when cuts are being made.... Furthermore millions would have to be spent on advertising explaining the new system to voters! Something similar happened in the Scottish Elections in 07 and dear old ladies (think of your mother) hadn't a clue how to do complete the new vote...
    This is the most insulting argument of all, the idea that people can't get their head around numbering candidates in order of preference. "1 for favourite, 2 for second favourite, 3 for third favourite. Keep going until you don't care any more". It is not hard. Millions are spent on advertising encouraging people to vote anyway - no reason to spend any more. AV votes will be counted by hand, just as they are now. It will cost no more than FPTP. As for my mother, she told me she's voting YES.
  • irnbru_2irnbru_2 Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    raddyantic wrote: »
    Other deomcratic countries seem to be getting on without it.

    Yes, lots of other democratic countries get by without FPTP.
    raddyantic wrote: »
    The issue wasn't even included in either of the Conservative or Lib Dem election manifestos.

    The pitfalls of representative democracy ......
    raddyantic wrote: »
    The Tories only conceded a vote on AV as part of their offer to the Lib Dems to form a government after the election.

    The Conservatives could have sought a Confidence and Supply agreement and governed as a minority like the SNP.
  • dggardggar Forumite
    663 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    mikbruin wrote: »
    I think voting No is most likely to break up condem pact. As thats really all they came for. As i hate what they are doing, and the misery they are cauing to millions (especially the poorest) thats the over riding priority for me.
    For each vote to truely count the same in all locations you need prop... representation, but that has its problems too. In reality most results would have been the same with FPTP or AV, just slightly more likely to get a coalition if libdems have a surge. Can't see that being too likely unless students lose all their memory!
    just can't beleive i'll be voting the same way as that smug bas***d cameron!
    I disagree with your first sentence.

    I believe both Clegg and Cameron have stated the outcome will not affect the coalition.

    However they are both politicians.

    My view is that a Victory for the NO vote will damage Clegg
    and a Victory for the YES vote will damage Cameron.

    I believe Clegg is already damaged beyond repair so causing further damage to him is a wasted opportunity.

    A damaged Cameron is more likely to lead to an early end of the coalition.

    This could be called tactical voting.

    Having just received through the post the No vote leaflet, I decided it was so politically illiterate that it was beneath contempt.
    I then heard John Reid saying AV was un-British and was reminded of the quote attributed to Samuel Johnson

    Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel
  • irnbru_2irnbru_2 Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    30% majorities are the result of the split in voters for candidates, I agree 70% of people do not get the MP or party they preferred but if 30% represents the party with the most supporters thats democracy.

    No it's the result of FPTP - democracy is the right to determine (freely) who governs..
  • Amba_GamblaAmba_Gambla Forumite
    12.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    barbara22 wrote: »
    ......Use your vote, every single one counts. :mad:

    And if YES wins, some will count more than others.....
  • ndallndall Forumite
    7 Posts
    And if YES wins, some will count more than others.....
    This is the precise opposite of the truth. In 2010, fewer than half a million votes in key marginals constituencies decided the result of the election. That's 1.6% of the electorate. Their votes counted. No-one else's did.

    If you are a swing voter in one of those areas, you might want to vote NO. Political parties spend most of their money sending you leaflets. Governments tailor their policies to keep you happy.

    If you are anyone else, then you are being done over by an out of date system. The new system will increase the number of marginal seats, increase the number of different groups politicians need to appeal to (even if you're loyal to one party, other politicians will compete for your second preference vote), and generally force them to listen to more people.
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