'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
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  • irnbru_2irnbru_2 Forumite
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    And if YES wins, some will count more than others.....

    Better to win by approval than division.
  • It isn't the voting system that is wrong. Democracy doesn't work.

    Imagine asking your kids to vote for mum or dad. They'd vote for the parent who was least disciplinary.

    Under AV, any kids voting for the budgie gets a second try.

    GG
    There are 10 types of people in this world. Those who understand binary and those that don't.
  • GooeyBlobGooeyBlob Forumite
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    Looking at some of the unrealistic examples given it seems to me that some of those in the YES camp are in favour because they believe it will enable voters to stop one candidate winning at all costs, by allowing that candidate's supporters only one vote, but everyone else several votes.

    Perhaps I'm just being a bit cynical.
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  • rhyskirhyski Forumite
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    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.


    Although the way you've explained is quite confusing, and it's an extreme example, i think i understand what you are trying to say....

    Based on your example using AV.. suppose there are 8 candidates (i'll call them A-H):
    In the first round of votes they go the following percentage of votes:
    A 10%
    B 10%
    C 10%
    D 10%
    E 10%
    F 10%
    G 19%
    H 21%

    After the first round those with the fewest votes would be crossed off and their second choices redistributed - but in this example, as there were no second preferences, candidates A, B, C, D, E and F would be crossed off as they had the least number of votes.
    This would then leave G and H, and H would be the winner with the majority of the remaining votes.

    This would give exactly the same result as a FPTP election, (with the winner being the largest minority) as people had chosen not to support any other candidates as their second choice.

    The advantage of AV is that if you wanted to it allows you to vote for someone you would prefer, as a second preference - which stops the need for people to vote tactically
  • ndall wrote: »
    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.


    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.

    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.

    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.
    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.

    How is this the last point the most insulting of all?? If anything it's the most accurate part. The Gould report (which you can find somewhere on this forum) looking into the Scottish Elections 07 which used a similar system to AV and had 146,099 ballot papers rejected because guess what?....'people couldn't get their head around numbering candidates in order of preference' - sad but true. Hence a huge amount of money more than usual will have to be spent on advertising in educating people, to clearly get the point across.

    I don't have an issue with AV whether it's either Yes or NO the outcome, however what I do baulk at is the cost of implemting it all, having already seen that at close quarters whilst working in that field :s

    and granted yes, you're probbaly right in that respect that what you think about one man doesn't seem particularly sensible when voting - but I stand by that why are only having this debate in the first place at his behest.




  • rhyskirhyski Forumite
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    GooeyBlob wrote: »
    Looking at some of the unrealistic examples given it seems to me that some of those in the YES camp are in favour because they believe it will enable voters to stop one candidate winning at all costs, by allowing that candidate's supporters only one vote, but everyone else several votes.

    Perhaps I'm just being a bit cynical.

    but anyone can vote with a second preference
    (and third and fourth preference etc.. if they wanted)

    if any voter really didn't want a particular candidate, but would happily have any of the others, they'd be able to express this - in order of preference
  • GooeyBlobGooeyBlob Forumite
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    but anyone can vote with a second preference
    (and third and fourth preference etc.. if they wanted)

    if any voter really didn't want a particular candidate, but would happily have any of the others, they'd be able to express this - in order of preference

    Then again, they have already expressed a first preference, and that candidate has lost. That their second, third or fourth preferences can be counted while the second preferences of those backing the leading candidate are not taken into account is less fair than the system we already have.

    AV seems to be more about voting against somebody for spiteful reasons rather than voting for a candidate you actually want.
    Saved over £20K in 20 years by brewing my own booze.
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  • I've just got a NO leaflet through the box saying it will help rescue Nick Clegg's party. It is probably Clegg's party which is propping up the unnamed party who wrote that leaflet!

    Unfortunately, I think this sort of negative campaigning will be successful though.
  • Amba_GamblaAmba_Gambla Forumite
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    ndall wrote: »
    raddyantic wrote:
    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"........ As for my mother, she told me she's voting YES.

    Well I've just had an old lady on the phone (a very old family friend) who couldn't work out the 'other system' she had a postal vote for. After over half an hour on the phone, we still couldn't make her understand the AV system. I wonder how many others out there are in the same position?
  • rhyskirhyski Forumite
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    GooeyBlob wrote: »
    Then again, they have already expressed a first preference, and that candidate has lost. That their second, third or fourth preferences can be counted while the second preferences of those backing the leading candidate are not taken into account is less fair than the system we already have.

    AV seems to be more about voting against somebody for spiteful reasons rather than voting for a candidate you actually want.

    But the basic principle of AV is.. "if your candidate is eliminated, who would you want to vote for instead?"
    This means the most popular first choice candidates go through to the next round of counting.

    Under AV the second preferences of the leading candidates would never be taken in to consideration (unless they were out-voted and therefore eliminated) - it just doesn't work like that.

    AV isn't about being spiteful, it empowers people with choice to vote for who they want, without the fear of a wasted vote, or the need to vote tactically. For me the positives massively outweigh the negatives. No voting system is perfect, I would argue that FPTP is less fair - as AV has the MASSIVE advantage of eliminating the ‘spoiler’ effect, and for that reason, I’m in favour of AV

    this explains the spoiler effect for anyone interested:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y3jE3B8HsE
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