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

edited 19 April 2011 at 10:04AM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
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  • LewieLewie Forumite
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    EdgEy wrote: »
    I believe the whole system of constituencies is flawed anyway. Proportional Representation is without a doubt, unarguably, the fairer system for a _national_ election. FPTP and similar systems make sense for Locals.

    Support the Greens? Don't live in Brighton?

    Congratulations, you don't have to bother going to the polls.

    Same deal if you live in a safe seat constituency and support the main opposing party. In order for your vote to actually stand a chance of influencing the election, you basically need to move to somewhere that's a marginal.

    I couldn't give a toss about who the MP for my area is. I want to vote for the national Government. I don't vote for people, I vote for policies.

    I agree.
    I think there should be a seperate election for which party we want to be in 'full' power.
    There should be one vote per person without 'seats' being involved.
    The party that gets the most INDIVIDUAL votes wins.
  • qwertyface wrote: »
    For better or worse it is the debate we are having, and it's the choice we have on the ballot.

    I doubt you're right that a Yes makes further change less likely than a No, and that certainly doesn't seem to be the mainstream opinion!

    The reason I think a Yes makes further change less likely is that AV is currently presented very much as a fait accompli that fixes all electoral problems in the UK.

    People are bored enough with the topic as it is, and won't be pleased if made to go through this all again in a couple of years if they feel they made a change already, but might be more inclined should it be shown that the original option was insufficient.

    So doubting it is ok, but if the concern is to keep a proper choice on the table later on, then No makes a lot of sense to me.
  • thisisacethisisace Forumite
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    Lots of people don't vote at the moment because, in a lot of (safe) seats, their vote won't make any difference. AV would be a start!
  • DerivativeDerivative Forumite
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    The other factor I forgot to mention about FPTP (actually, constituency based voting) is that it gives some people more power to influence the vote than others.

    If you live, in your one home, you register to vote there, and you vote. If you're in a Tory safe seat and vote Labour, unlucky, do not pass go.

    However, if like me, you're a student (there are other examples), you may happen to have the choice of two constituencies to vote in. Which in some cases gives you more power - say if your home constituency was a Labour/LD marginal, whereas your term time constituency was Tory/Labour - you can vote for any of the three parties and have a decent chance at influencing the result.

    Unfortunately for me as a Conservative supporter (who happens to also like AV...), both of my registered addresses are Labour/LD marginals.

    Oh well, there's always tactical voting. (an idea which, shock, doesn't exist under PR.)
    Said Aristippus, “If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.”
    Said Diogenes, “Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king.”[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][/FONT]
  • Robability wrote: »
    The reason I think a Yes makes further change less likely is that AV is currently presented very much as a fait accompli that fixes all electoral problems in the UK.

    People are bored enough with the topic as it is, and won't be pleased if made to go through this all again in a couple of years if they feel they made a change already, but might be more inclined should it be shown that the original option was insufficient.

    So doubting it is ok, but if the concern is to keep a proper choice on the table later on, then No makes a lot of sense to me.

    I think it's pretty well known that a lot of the AV supporters (myself included) are supporting AV because it's an improvement and a step towards something else, rather than because it's the right system full stop.

    Can you imagine if there's a No result, followed by another hung parliament, and the Lib Dems say to the Tories or Labour "We want another referendum, but this time on full STV PR"? I think the response would be "You must be joking".

    No one thinks that AV solves all the problems. But it does solve some, and the problems it solves are worth solving.
  • thisisacethisisace Forumite
    108 Posts
    Gwyndster wrote: »
    ... and as so far no-one has sent me anything about I think I'll be making an uninformed guess.


    The official booklet explaining the 2 systems, which should have come through your door, can be read online here:
    http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/PDF/England-accessible.pdf
  • michaelsmichaels Forumite
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    Suppose we have a 40% turnout of whom 51% vote in favour - that represents about 20% of the electorate - is that enough to make the change valid?

    Suppose with AV we end up with continual LD/Lab coalition govts whatever the voters actually choose on the day whereas under the current system we would have alternating tory/labour govts. Would it really be of benefit to the country that we could effectively never vote the govt out?
    I think....
  • qwertyface wrote: »
    I think it's pretty well known that a lot of the AV supporters (myself included) are supporting AV because it's an improvement and a step towards something else, rather than because it's the right system full stop.

    Can you imagine if there's a No result, followed by another hung parliament, and the Lib Dems say to the Tories or Labour "We want another referendum, but this time on full STV PR"? I think the response would be "You must be joking".

    No one thinks that AV solves all the problems. But it does solve some, and the problems it solves are worth solving.

    That's the thing.. I can imagine that scenario. But what if the situation is reversed.. and AV wins through, and then those proponents of electoral reform say "lets have another referendum to further improve the system!". Weighing it up, the "You must be joking" seems to me to be louder in that case than with outright rejection.

    But your second point is perhaps where the differences lie. The problems that I have with FPTP aren't solved by AV, so when I factor in the additional complexity of the system, which for the record I don't think lies in the method of voting, but in the method of counting, it makes for an overall worse system, regardless of the chance of further reform.
  • spikyonespikyone Forumite
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    Robability wrote: »
    Firstly, the whole thing clearly reads as a "You're an idiot if you don't like AV piece". Phrases like:

    "It’s done to take advantage of the in-built advantage of the incumbent candidate – or in other words, to play into the hands of the fact most people don’t like change – even if it’s for the better."

    ...imply that the change is for the better and anyone who says otherwise doesn't understand.

    I think what Martin's trying to get at is that the "No to AV" campaign is based on negativity. Whilst that sounds like a statement of the blindingly obvious, "No to AV" should be espousing the benefits of the system that we've got. It smacks of Labour's last election campaign - no policies, just lots of reasons why the Tories and Lib Dems were wrong. I didn't agree with everything the Tories or Lib Dems said then any more than I agree with all of the pro-AV arguments now, but negative campaigning will not win my vote. To paraphrase, if you're not proposing a solution, you're part of the problem.
    Robability wrote: »
    I think the whole AV vs FTPT debate isn't the one we should be having. I am in favour of electoral reform and a referendum on the subject, but we should have a real choice, including STV and the rest.

    On this I agree completely. What's the point of having a referendum on a voting system when there's only two options? We're basically using FPTP to decide whether to keep FPTP! ;)
    Robability wrote: »
    My main worry with this vote is if it succeeds, then nobody will look at change for another 60 years. If it fails, then hopefully it will spark a wider review on the other options.. That is why I will be voting no. AV isn't good enough as a system to entrench us for the rest of my lifetime.

    But if we vote "no" it's easy to see how those in power, both now and in the future, could see that as a sign that the population as a whole don't want any kind of reform.
  • ButtiButti Forumite
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    I like Cameron and Reid's arguments against AV.

    Cameron says you would get a government that you didn't want and didn't vote for. He doesn't tell us whether he was looking in the mirror at the time.

    Reid says It's not British. This just strikes me as an argument they were probably using 100 years ago when women were asking for the vote! So amusing.

    I do understand AV and could explain it. Unfortunately I will be manning a polling station which means I am not allowed to explain it....and any posters up just explain what to do not what you are voting for!

    B
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