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

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  • rhyski
    rhyski Posts: 59
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    edited 3 May 2011 at 8:52AM
    tonyhamm wrote: »
    Vince Cable (The LIBDEM's) came up with the idea that Tuition fees should be tripled to £9000 - not the Tories, dispite campaigning against Tuition Fees to win votes in the election!. Thats the problem with AV - it lets this sort of "Say one thing for voters, say another when in power" become instituitionlised.
    What's that got to do with AV?

    I guess they are suggesting that AV will lead to more coalitions, and more broken promises as the parties have to negotiate policies with each other.

    I would argue that coalitions are going to become the norm whether we have AV or not. We're in a coalition now which came by voting by FPTP...

    The way in which people vote is changing, we no longer have a two party system... and if we're going to get coalitions anyway, wouldn't it be better to have candidates who the majority of people supported (voted for by AV), not the largest minority (voted for by FPTP) who are quite often voted for tactically in order to keep the other party out?
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,170
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    tonyhamm wrote: »
    Vince Cable (The LIBDEM's) came up with the idea that Tuition fees should be tripled to £9000 - not the Tories, dispite campaigning against Tuition Fees to win votes in the election!. Thats the problem with AV - it lets this sort of "Say one thing for voters, say another when in power" become instituitionlised.
    These people become the elite who know better than voters whats good for them.

    AS CHURCHILL SAID "AV means the most worthless candidates chasing the most worthless votes". i.e. Things they know they cannot deliver on, while they have their own ideas when they get into power.

    So what was Labour's excuse for lying about the exact same issue (remember top-up fees?) They had a majority.
  • tonyhamm
    tonyhamm Posts: 221 Forumite
    edited 3 May 2011 at 12:15PM
    As Churchill said "AV results in the most worthless candidates getting the most worthless votes". i.e. A Party like the LibDems who promise WHATEVER they can to EVERYONE - and then get into power and do 'What they think is best'. Remember : It was Vince Cable (LibDem) who proposed the tripling of tuition fees, NOT the Tories. Dispite campaigning against it FOR VOTES.

    AV is not about some system which is better at choosing between different flavours of Ice Cream, Pub or Coffeehouse etc...! It's about giving voters a extra 'compromise' vote. So getting more votes for the compromise choice, the LibDems, who have a policy for everyone and will become a permanent kingmaker.

    To get as many votes as possible they are all things to all people - They are strong on immigration, but have also want a free for amnesty. If voters in a seat don't want new houses built they pull out their policy for massive VAT on all new builds, for voters who want more homes built they pull out their policy of incentives for new homes (These are real LibDem Policies) etc...etc...

    AV is a system which will result in the worse kind of politics actually winning because it collects these 'extra' votes and gives them to the LibDem's. How could any of these real LibDems policies listed above not result in broken promises for voters when in power?

    I DON'T WANT A SMUG HAUGHTY LIBERAL ELITE SAYING ANYTHING TO WIN, AND THEN DECIDING WHATS BEST FOR ME WHEN IN POWER 'FOR MY OWN GOOD' - SO I AM VOTING NO!
    so says another ordinary mug fighting the 1% who own the political machine grinding them down from on high...
    :A
  • dtsazza
    dtsazza Posts: 6,295 Forumite
    edited 3 May 2011 at 1:37PM
    tonyhamm wrote: »
    As Churchill said "AV results in the most worthless candidates getting the most worthless votes". i.e. A Party like the LibDems who promise WHATEVER they can to EVERYONE - and then get into power and do 'What they think is best'. Remember : It was Vince Cable (LibDem) who proposed the tripling of tuition fees, NOT the Tories. Dispite campaigning against it FOR VOTES.
    Hold on - if the Lib Dems go crazy promising everything to everyone, wouldn't they get 100% of the vote under all systems?

    Obviously they don't in practice because there's a level of cynicism that needs to be employed when reading a manifesto - it's one thing to say something, but yet another to do it. If people are inaccurately judging the plausibility of manifestos that's a problem, but again it's nothing to do with the electoral system. Accurately judging what you think of a candidate comes before casting a vote under any system, and is an orthogonal issue.

    To clarify, whether a party changes their mind about their manifesto promises once they're actually in power has nothing to do with the electoral system that put them there (which is responsible solely for deciding how many people want them on election night).

    (If anything, AV would probably help avoid this situation, as it's marginally easier to "vote out" a party you specifically dislike, hence there's a slightly higher level of accountability to voters. And while I don't think it's that relevant, the situation that you are upset about now was brought about by FPTP, so it hardly has a perfect track record as an alternative to AV.)

    I'm intrigued by the context of the Churchill vote; if you think a candidate is the most worthless, why cast a vote for them in any electoral system??
    AV is not about some system which is better at choosing between different flavours of Ice Cream, Pub or Coffeehouse etc...! It's about giving voters a extra 'compromise' vote. So getting more votes for the compromise choice, the LibDems, who have a policy for everyone and will become a permanent kingmaker.
    I disagree with the phrasing. Because you get to rank all of your parties in preference order, your second preference need not be a "compromise" that you think will get in. It's simply "if my favourite party weren't running, who would I like to get in?" So it really is a second preference, rather than a compromise.

    To some extent I disagree with your conclusion, on the basis that you're assuming that the Lib Dems will be everyone's second choice. Additionally, they can't even compete for the final round unless they're in the top two when there are three parties left. In the majority of constituencies, the percentage of votes that are cast for the main three parties is high enough that even if the Lib Dems did pick up 100% of transfer votes from smaller parties, it's unlikely to change them from losers to winners. More likely, is that in Labour vs Conservative areas, the Libs will go out in the penultimate round and their voters' transfers will make a notable contribution to the winner.

    Then again, the point of AV is that the winner gets over 50% endorsement from the constrituency. Consequently it's only possible to win if you can get at least half of the voters to accept you as the "not worst" candidate. In that respect, because the desires of the voters are quite disparate, the correct result in any consituency is some sort of compromise, i.e. something that appeals to most people. If you think that's a bad thing somehow, and that the winner should be a party that the majority of voters specifically don't associate with, I'd ask you to question your notions of fairness.
    To get as many votes as possible they are all things to all people... How could any of these real LibDems policies listed above not result in broken promises for voters when in power? I DON'T WANT A SMUG HAUGHTY LIBERAL ELITE SAYING ANYTHING TO WIN, AND THEN DECIDING WHATS BEST FOR ME WHEN IN POWER 'FOR MY OWN GOOD' - SO I AM VOTING NO!
    As I mentioned before, you're confusing the voting system with the voting process (i.e. who you vote for). If you don't want haughty Liberals getting into power and deciding what's best for you, vote against them in General Elections. If you think other people are voting Liberal because they're taken in by false manifestos, show them the error of their ways, persuade them that the Lib Dems won't deliver and urge them to consider their choice more carefully.

    The referendum is solely about whether AV is a better electoral system than FPTP - not whether the Lib Dems stick to their manifesto, or whether you want them elected.
  • Lotus-eater
    Lotus-eater Posts: 10,789
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    tonyhamm wrote: »
    I DON'T WANT A SMUG HAUGHTY LIBERAL ELITE SAYING ANYTHING TO WIN, AND THEN DECIDING WHATS BEST FOR ME WHEN IN POWER 'FOR MY OWN GOOD' - SO I AM VOTING NO!
    This is exactly what I mean by the perception will win the AV vote.
    It makes absolutely no sense of the AV argument, just "I don't like the Lib Dems, so I'm voting no"

    Such will be the cry up and down the land. Justified with a barely understood and almost certainly incorrect, argument against AV.

    In all honesty, I can't believe Clegg bet the family silver on this vote.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
  • irnbru_2
    irnbru_2 Posts: 1,603 Forumite
    tonyhamm wrote: »
    It's about giving voters a extra 'compromise' vote. So getting more votes for the compromise choice, the LibDems, who have a policy for everyone and will become a permanent kingmaker.

    There are more than 3 parties.
    You don't have to govern with a majority of seats - you can govern by consent (e.g. SNP minority in Scotland has had budgets passed on the back of Conservative votes).
    tonyhamm wrote: »
    I DON'T WANT A SMUG HAUGHTY LIBERAL ELITE SAYING ANYTHING TO WIN, AND THEN DECIDING WHATS BEST FOR ME WHEN IN POWER 'FOR MY OWN GOOD' - SO I AM VOTING NO!

    Other ELITEs are OK then?
  • dtsazza
    dtsazza Posts: 6,295 Forumite
    kermitfrog wrote: »
    I started off in this process instinctively favouring FPTP over AV without too much factual information to validate my stance. I sought information from the campaigns on both sides and found, like you, mis-information, distortion, propaganda and downright deception. From both sides!

    ...

    My examination of the arguments, and the attitude of AV proponents, has solidified my original intention to vote 'No'!
    Kermitfrog - I share your sentiments in the first paragraph. I find it amazing how poorly run both campaigns are.

    However, if you don't mind sharing, I'd be interested to hear what arguments led you to a decide on a No vote. Not because I want to persuade you otherwise, but because I was in a similar position to you several months ago. I looked around for arguments for both sides, and over the following weeks I can honestly say I didn't come across a single pro-FPTP argument that I considered honest/valid. I even then specifically sought out pro-FPTP arguments (asking people I respected, posting on blogs/forums/Facebook etc.) and I am still yet to read a single argument that I don't consider FUD.

    For instance, in today's Best arguments for voting Yes or No piece from the BBC, I don't think any of the No arguments are valid:
    1. The multi-vote argument is complete rubbish. Everyone gets exactly one vote in each round. Voting for the same party as the previous round, because your favourite wasn't eliminated, is not somehow a disadvantage.
    2. Appeal to popularity fallacy. Does not imply FPTP is better than AV in any way.
    3. The cost figure is widely debunked (referendum is already happening; machines won't be used; telling people to rank candidates 1, 2, 3 doesn't cost £26m (and I'd be !!!!ed off if the government wasted money on a massive publicity campaign to communicate this)).
    4. I don't think it's automatically obvious that AV would cause more hung parliaments, and I haven't seen any evidence presented anywhere to support this. Then, I don't agree that hung parliaments lead to broken promises. Also, I don't agree that a hung parliament takes power away from the voters; if they voted for a 34%/33%/32% split, say, then for the parliament not to be hung would take power away from the voters. I don't believe an electoral system has anything to do with the emergence or otherwise of systemic dishonesty.
    5. Moving the goalposts fallacy - this is simply between FPTP and AV. Yes, AV is a compromise, compared to the sorts of PR systems that the electoral reformists generally favour. "Compromise" implies halfway between "desired" and "current" - i.e. it is still more desirable than the current situation. And I think it's pretty obvious that AV supporters think it's "good enough" (or at least, "less bad than FPTP") since they're supporting it in this referendum.

    Anyway, as an extension of my previous information-seeking, I would really be happy to see some good arguments to vote No, and I'd be very grateful if you have any to share.
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,170
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    dtsazza wrote: »
    For instance, in today's Best arguments for voting Yes or No piece from the BBC, I don't think any of the No arguments are valid:
    1. The multi-vote argument is complete rubbish. Everyone gets exactly one vote in each round. Voting for the same party as the previous round, because your favourite wasn't eliminated, is not somehow a disadvantage.
    ......



    Anyway, as an extension of my previous information-seeking, I would really be happy to see some good arguments to vote No, and I'd be very grateful if you have any to share.

    Well I'm voting YES, but I do think the multi-vote/unequal vote argument does have some validity - in particular the issue that if you voted for the party which finished second, your views are not as well represented as if you voted for a party who finished third or fourth. You didn't win, and your other preferences had no effect on the result.

    Under AV, second is clearly the worst place to finish. It doesn't seem right that the views of those voting for a candidate finishing third or fourth are better reflected than the views of those voting for the second place candidate.
  • irnbru_2
    irnbru_2 Posts: 1,603 Forumite
    zagfles wrote: »
    Under AV, second is clearly the worst place to finish. It doesn't seem right that the views of those voting for a candidate finishing third or fourth are better reflected than the views of those voting for the second place candidate.

    Contrast that to the FPTP scenario of the candidate being chosen against the majority of the electorate.

    The referendum comes down to which of those poisons you prefer.

    BTW AV or FPTP won't affect my constituency as my MP has >50% of the votes.
  • tonyhamm
    tonyhamm Posts: 221 Forumite
    edited 3 May 2011 at 4:46PM
    Thats why they have simply led with the cost of the AV system.

    AV is an electoral system which gives voters an extra 'compromise' vote which will largely benefit the LibDems. The electoral process is that Labour voters will largely vote Labour 1st, then LibDem 2nd. Conservative Voters will largely vote Conservative 1st then LibDem 2nd. LibDem voters will vote LibDem 1st.
    So it will largely benefit the LibDems and no-one else. (The FACTS ARE that the Liberals are the main party in Australia ruling for all but 14 of the past 62 years.)

    Because of the new compromise votes, a candidate that tries to appeal to everyone, dispite carrying impossible to deliver opposite LibDem policies like Strong immigration AND a free-for-all immigration amnesty, will collect most 2nd preferences, therefore the nature of politics will change to become unprincipled, with more broken promises.

    In Australia there are all sorts of tactics & gaming of the the extra votes that AV gives the main parties to crush smaller parties and reduce political competition.
    so says another ordinary mug fighting the 1% who own the political machine grinding them down from on high...
    :A
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