'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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  • chardirchardir Forumite
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    I'm still undecided on the issue. As far as I can see the arguments on both sides are flawed and not necessarily significant. It seems to come down to supporting the system which you think will give your party the most seats, which, in itself, is grossly unfair.
  • I'm against any system that gives someone the power of more than one vote. Why should someone who votes Monster Raving Looney have their vote count more than once? Imagine the scenario: 1st choice - Official Monster Raving Looney Party; 2nd choice - Independent Monster Raving Looney Party; 3rd choice - Free skateboards for hedgehogs; and on and on until, finally, their 7th or 8th choice is Tory/Labour/Liberal/Green/BNP or whatever.

    "First past the post" may be far from perfect but at least it doesn't give power to the idiot minority.
    If I've helped you please show your appreciation by using the "Thanks" button
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  • nomoneytodaynomoneytoday Forumite
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    IMHO it's a mechanism to get the Lib Dems more seats.

    Tory voters generally don't Labour and vice versa. Some of these will have the LD as their 2nd choice.
    Therefore any seat where Labour or Conservative don't win outright can have the LD vote "winning" the seat.

    i.e. 40% Con, 40% Lab, 19% LD, 1% others as 1st choice. 2nd choice for half the Con and Lab voters is LD.
    In round 2, we lose the 1% others from the race.
    Round 2 gives 40 Con, 40 Lab (no 2nd votes), 59 to LD who then win.
  • AV would not have any effect on 'safe seats'. If a candidate gets more than 50% of the vote from first preferences then second preferences, etc don't get taken into account. In that sense both systems are the same.
  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
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    I'm against any system that gives someone the power of more than one vote. Why should someone who votes Monster Raving Looney have their vote count more than once? Imagine the scenario: 1st choice - Official Monster Raving Looney Party; 2nd choice - Independent Monster Raving Looney Party; 3rd choice - Free skateboards for hedgehogs; and on and on until, finally, their 7th or 8th choice is Tory/Labour/Liberal/Green/BNP or whatever.
    And once all the appropriate candidates have been eliminated, that person gets exactly one vote in the final round.
    Whereas in FPTP they would get zero votes in the "final round".

    I can't see how that makes FPTP fairer!
  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
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    IMHO it's a mechanism to get the Lib Dems more seats.

    Tory voters generally don't Labour and vice versa. Some of these will have the LD as their 2nd choice.
    Therefore any seat where Labour or Conservative don't win outright can have the LD vote "winning" the seat.
    To a large extent, I agree.
    i.e. 40% Con, 40% Lab, 19% LD, 1% others as 1st choice. 2nd choice for half the Con and Lab voters is LD.
    In round 2, we lose the 1% others from the race.
    Round 2 gives 40 Con, 40 Lab (no 2nd votes), 59 to LD who then win.
    But this isn't how it works.

    You only count the second preferences of the people who voted for the candidates who have been eliminated.
    So round 2 might be 40.4 Con, 40.2 Lab, 19.4 LD. (i.e. the 1% others second preferences are split between the remaining three.)
    Then the LibDems get eliminated and the second preferences of the people who put LibDem first get counted (along with the third preferences of those who put others first and LibDem second).
    So round 3 might be 48 Con, 52 Lab (assuming LibDem voters in general prefer Labour to Conservative).


    So, Martin, maybe it _is_ complex?
  • alexlynealexlyne Forumite
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    i read somewhere that AV will mean that MPs should try to include everyone in their policies.. probably something to do with their seats not being safe or something. Problem I see is that MPs are already trying to please all the voters all the time and then failing to do so if elected because there was no way of being able to keep all the promises.
    If an MP comes round your house, and asks what can they do for you, and you say 'I want my local bus service to run twice per hour instead of once per hour', and teh MP says 'sure, we'll do that for you', then you're going to be very sceptical.

    True case: My local libdems are 'promising' to fix the bridge tolls over the severn for 3 years. Problem is that there is so much legislation over the way the bridges are run that I'm pretty sure it would be illegal to do this, or take years to implement. They're not even allowed to take card payments for goodness' sake! It's like Labour when they said they wanted a new vat rate to put on fuel to offset the 2.5% rise... they knew it couldn't be done, but this kind of rhetoric will still come as a positive in so many people's eyes.

    So it comes down to this... you may not be able to fool all the people all the time, but there's a good chance of fooling stupid people a lot of the time. So this is the MPs target audience.
    Hence why there is so much voter apathy.

    As for AV vs FPTP, I really don't know. I'm not sure either is particularly right, but I'll have to think on it further.
  • thelawnetthelawnet Forumite
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    It's only not complicated because you are a supporter of it.

    Why not just say 'vote yes to AV' rather than this form of confusion marketing?
  • LewieLewie Forumite
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    VOTE AV.

    It's the only way ANY of the minority parties are ever going to get a chance.
    The system as it stands is a con.

    If there are 100 seats and a party wins the proposed majority, say 55% (55 seats), then they gain power.
    If there are 45,000 voters in the 45 constituencies that DIDN'T vote for the party but only 30,000 voters in the 55 constituencies that did vote for the party, they still win even though only a minority voted for them.
    Also, in each seat it is rarely the candidate that polled the majority of the vote that wins. If there are 4 candidates and A gets 40%, B gets 30%, C gets 20% and D gets 10% then less than half of the voters voted for candidate A yet candidate A wins even though 60% of the voters effectively voted against him/her.
    How is that right??
  • alexlynealexlyne Forumite
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    Lewie wrote: »
    VOTE AV.

    If there are 4 candidates and A gets 40%, B gets 30%, C gets 20% and D gets 10% then less than half of the voters voted for candidate A yet candidate A wins even though 60% of the voters effectively voted against him/her.
    How is that right??

    Whatever the voting system, if this is the first round of voting, then it is the actual result. Second choices are pretty much the same as 'voting against' someone else, in that they aren't the first choice. If A gets 40% and is then boosted to 60% by 2nd/3rd/4th rounds, then they've still only got 40% of the vote, plus pull extra numbers from the little parties.
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