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

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  • GooeyBlob
    GooeyBlob Posts: 190 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Where on earth did you get "yes voters are more likely to change their minds" from?
    It says 22 per cent "don't knows", more say they are "inclined" to vote No than Yes
    (probably because of the fear of change? who knows...)

    Not that I trust polls in the slightest anyway.


    Read the analysis of the results by ComRes. Every which way you look at it, it's all going the way of No, and very difficult to see how the Yes camp can get anything out of this poll.

    If you don't trust polls, perhaps you have a problem with democracy itself? Be honest, ask yourself if you will accept a resounding no vote in the referendum.

    If you cannot accept the decision of the British people, that probably goes a long way to explaining why you want to change the voting system. I suspect you're unhappy with the results it has given, and believe that AV will produce different results.
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  • I find it ironic that a few politicians want a vote on AV yet nearly 400,000 people have signed a Daily Express petition to have a vote on getting out of the EU. We can all rest assured that we the people will not be allowed such a vote. You-Gov also conclude 61% of people want a vote on the EU as well.

    Personally I will vote NO for AV on the premise that we will have no more control over our MP's than we do now despite what we are told. Precisely how we can do this when they are there for five years come what may no one on the YES side has explained.
  • rhyski
    rhyski Posts: 59 Forumite
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    GooeyBlob wrote: »
    Read the analysis of the results by ComRes. Every which way you look at it, it's all going the way of No, and very difficult to see how the Yes camp can get anything out of this poll.

    If you don't trust polls, perhaps you have a problem with democracy itself? Be honest, ask yourself if you will accept a resounding no vote in the referendum.

    If you cannot accept the decision of the British people, that probably goes a long way to explaining why you want to change the voting system. I suspect you're unhappy with the results it has given, and believe that AV will produce different results.

    I just mean that polls do not always give an accurate representation of the final results. I will accept the results whichever way they end up, although i must add that both the YES and NO campaigns have been pretty terrible throughout - and if this is what the majority of the public are basing their opinions on then it's hardly going to be an informed decision.

    I guess therein lies the problem with democracy - where people can vote without any real knowledge on what they are voting for, without building truly informed opinions, and believing the papers or whatever their parents told them. Of course I'm not saying everyone does this (or that I am any kind of expert myself) but i wish that more of the public took an active interest, weighing up the pros and cons and drawing their own conclusions - whichever way they may lean. I respect anyone who is willing to engage in an open debate, just maybe we could learn something from each other...

    And regarding the results, I honestly don't think that AV will make a massive change to the number of seats each party has (as studies have shown), but what it will do is give people choice to vote for whoever they really want without the fear that doing so will end up wasting their vote and letting a candidate they didn't want win with a minority vote.
  • rhyski
    rhyski Posts: 59 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    pawnbroker wrote: »
    Personally I will vote NO for AV on the premise that we will have no more control over our MP's than we do now despite what we are told. Precisely how we can do this when they are there for five years come what may no one on the YES side has explained.

    Surely the whole reason we have 'more control' with AV, is that they can not win with minority support? Safe seats are no longer as safe?

    Suppose you and the majority of the people in your constituency decide that they don't like the current MP, and want to vote for someone else. You have the choice of voting tactically for another party who's most likely to win, or 'waste' your vote on another candidate who will probably never win. Even though 75% of the votes were for other candidates, (say 5 other candidates ended up with about 15% each) and the current candidate who you (and the majority of other people voting) don't like still wins with only 25% of the vote - they win with a minority vote. AV could prevent this from happening, as 75% of the people voting could have been against the candidate with 25% support.

    True that we don't have any more control over our MP's actions once they're voted in, but it would be easier to vote them out at the next election
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,316 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Chutzpah Haggler
    pawnbroker wrote: »
    I find it ironic that a few politicians want a vote on AV yet nearly 400,000 people have signed a Daily Express petition to have a vote on getting out of the EU. We can all rest assured that we the people will not be allowed such a vote. You-Gov also conclude 61% of people want a vote on the EU as well.

    Personally I will vote NO for AV on the premise that we will have no more control over our MP's than we do now despite what we are told. Precisely how we can do this when they are there for five years come what may no one on the YES side has explained.

    Well if you want out of the EU, AV may be the way to get it! People can then vote UKIP without the fear of it being a wasted vote.
  • redux
    redux Posts: 22,976 Forumite
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    The campaign on this must mark a low point in being scabrously dishonest with and patronising of the electorate.

    Senior figures in the Conservative Party have used it to take swipes at their partners in government, and there have been other odd assertions, such that for example Paddy Ashdown criticised George Osborne for cheap mud-slinging with his bizarre allegations that a politically independent body stands to make money from any changes.

    A leaflet has arrived here today which is even more absurd and is getting lower in its personal attacks.

    AV would led to more hung parliaments, backroom deals and broken promises, it says, with a picture of Cameron and Clegg.

    One wonders which allegedly broken promises the supporters of this nonsense might think they are targetting, with the implied character assassination of both Cameron and Clegg.

    Who is William Norton, the press officer? Who is Charlotte Vere, the website registrant?

    They have both been Conservative prospective parliamentary candidates. One wonders if Cameron accepts the price of this campaign, that in some aspects such as today's leaflet the knife might be in his back as well as Clegg's
  • GooeyBlob
    GooeyBlob Posts: 190 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    redux wrote: »
    AV would led to more hung parliaments, backroom deals and broken promises, it says, with a picture of Cameron and Clegg.

    Given that AV tends to favour middle-of-the-road parties over the ones to the left or the right, with the party set-up in the UK it is fair to assume that this would lead to more coalitions.

    You're right though, there has been some awful rubbish in the literature from BOTH camps.

    Anyway, Anthony Wells has some more polling evidence here, for those anoraks (like me) who are interested in these things:

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/
    Saved over £20K in 20 years by brewing my own booze.
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  • Soubrette
    Soubrette Posts: 4,118 Forumite
    edited 1 May 2011 at 6:20PM
    AV is one person one vote, it is merely voting in several elimination rounds of votes until one person gains over 50% of the votes but doing without the expense of calling for another physical round of elections ad nauseum until one person gains that majority.

    The essence is that the person that wins in the end has to garner at least 51% of the votes cast - this has to be a step in the right direction.

    One person asked earlier if 5 left wing candidates and 1 right wing candidate stood - then AV might prevent the right wing candidate from winning. The way I would look at it is - if 51% of an electorate are left wing - is it right that they are represented by a right wing candidate? (the situation is equally as valid for a right wing electorate and a left wing candidate).

    It will also (I believe) stop the scenario of extreme parties gaining seats, it is unlikely they will ever garner 51% of votes in even one seat/election.

    The Libdems may benefit (I suspect their support will stay collapsed until well after the next general election) - but if a party has the support of 20% of the electorate - should they not have a commensorate number of seats? UKIP is another party I would expect to benefit, as far as I'm aware, not a wishy washy lefty party.

    The choice is not ideal - personally I would prefer PR even allowing that that actually does give minority parties a voice - but hey, that's democracy. This choice has been foisted upon us by people who want to retain FPTP and so they've given us what they consider to be a hobson's choice - the alternative to FPTP being as poor as they could get away with offering in the hope that both those for and against PR would vote no - very disappointed in the LibDems being amateurish and letting this get past them.

    So is this really the actions of a group of people who, if AV gets a resounding no, will then offer us the choice of PR? I don't think so. If you vote against AV then as far as the 'no' campaign are concerned then you are voting for FPTP (the classic FPTP fallacy) and there will be no change for the next few generations. Turkeys do not usually vote for Christmas but due to an electoral fluke, we have the chance of actually effecting some change.

    In my opinion AV is more democratic than PFTP and thus a better voting system, I hope it is the start of politicians addressing the misnamed 'voter apathy' and actually working harder to get people to want to engage in politics.

    As an aside - if you don't intend to vote, please consider going to the ballot box and spoiling your paper to show politicians that the reason you are not voting is not that you can't be bothered. You made an effort to get there but no candidate was good enough.
  • Cool_Mint
    Cool_Mint Posts: 123 Forumite
    The "first past the post" system doesn't exactly inspire confidence when you look at the series of bad governments we have had, it may be simple but it - almost - always results in a choice of just two parties because voting for anyone other than the two big ones is always a wasted vote; either you vote blue or you vote red, this time it was a fluke that the yellow team got a look in.

    I'm in favor of AV if only because so many politicians hate the idea! They don't just dislike it, they are positively bristling with annoyance so it must be a good thing. It's not complicated really it's just new, you vote for your number 1 choice and if it's a tie between the parties then whoever got the most "number 2" votes wins.
  • Soubrette
    Soubrette Posts: 4,118 Forumite
    Cool_Mint wrote: »
    I'm in favor of AV if only because so many politicians hate the idea! They don't just dislike it, they are positively bristling with annoyance so it must be a good thing. It's not complicated really it's just new, you vote for your number 1 choice and if it's a tie between the parties then whoever got the most "number 2" votes wins.

    With respect - that's a terrible reason to vote for something:p

    The key aspects to AV is that the eventual winner has to garner over 50% of the votes and until that happens there will be one candidate eliminated each round, the people who voted for the eliminated candidate will have their ballot papers added to the recount ie their number 2 vote becomes their number 1 vote etc.

    If I vote for anyone except the last candidate, and that candidate is eliminated, then my number 2 count does not count - why should it - I have had my say in this round, only those people who have had their candidate (and therefore their vote) eliminated are entitled to have their second preferences counted.

    Your explanation is how the no campaign are putting it - making it appear that some people will get more than one vote by using ambiguous language.
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