UKC

/ AV, yes or no?

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KTT on 17 Feb 2011
For me it will have to be no.

I don't want the marginally most popular candidate to lose because there's a collection of others who taken together can overtake them for example tory, ukip & bnp overcoming a labour candidate with a small ish majority anymore than the reverse and green, lib dem & labour overcoming a tory candidate with a small minority.

I think very marginal seats are good for democracy as they force the parties to have a real fight.

I think that we'd end up with two parties, no lib dems, no green, no scots nats or plaid cymru and that would be to the detriment of democracy.

Your views?
Luke90 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
I can't see how AV would be likely to lead to less parties in serious contention. If anything I would be inclined to expect the opposite, though I haven't given it a great deal of thought to be honest.

Personally I really like the fact that it will eliminate the need for tactical voting. Everybody can simply vote for the candidates they most want and not worry about their vote potentially being "wasted" on a no-hoper or a protest vote.
James Moyle - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
Yes - 1
No - 2

but seriously it can't be that the case that: "green, lib dem & labour overcoming a tory candidate with a small minority."

What happens is that a constituency where a minority of people who want a tory would be beaten by a majority of people who would want anything but. Surely that's better than the current system where an MP can be elected on 1/3 of the vote.
Dirk Didler on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to James Moyle: Not if your a tory...ae KTT.
thin bob on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to James Moyle: aaaaaaannndddd...... that's what KTT is afraid of: becoming a minority

apparently, some constituencies haven't changed hands since WWII...
peterd - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to thin bob:

Don't you think it disgraceful that Labour (in the Lords of all places) are blocking plans to equalise the number of voters in constituencies because Labour gains from the curerent system?

Why should a vote for a Labour MP be worth more than a vote for someone else?
Phil Payne - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:

I'm not sure that AV even counts as democracy. It could lead to a situation where a party that is the least popular in the first round being the most popular in the second round.
banned profile 74 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT: no.full pr or dont bother
peterd - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to beastofackworth:

Full PR is awful. It only serves the political class. I want a single MP or MSP as my represntatiive that I can pester.
Luke90 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to beastofackworth:
> no.full pr or dont bother

But full PR erodes local representation and accountability and hands all the power to the party officials who choose the party lists. Do we really want to make everything even more divided along party lines and make it even more difficult for MPs to take a stand outside the party line?! It strikes me as one of the worst possible systems.
Luke90 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Phil Payne:

True, that's possible, but it strikes me as unlikely to happen very often. I think overall it would lead to more consensus and broader support for the representative of each constituency.
KTT on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Dirk Didler: Shall we try that in english?
Yanis Nayu - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT: Be nice to have a system where your vote counted.
KTT on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90: Really? At the moment we have a Green MP, Caroline Lucas who scraped home with a small majority in FPTP, but nowhere close to >50% of the vote. It is almost certain that a huge propotion of her second choices would have been, if there was the option, Lib Dem or Labour.

As such under AV she wouldn't have been elected.

AV would lead to us having Labour v Tories much as the Americans' have Democrat v Republican.

KTT on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to wayno265: If you vote and don't spoil your paper your vote is counted.

What do you mean, do you mean unless your man wins your vote hasn't counted?

Would you rather have a system as in the European elections where the party bosses pick the list of candidates and the order of preference so you don't get a chance to vote against a particularly odious candidate?
banned profile 74 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90: worse than FPTP?i think not
Yanis Nayu - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT: In certain constituencies Gary Glitter for get elected for Labour, in others he'd get elected for the Tories. If you wanted to vote against the guaranteed winner in these constituencies you may as well stay in bed. I think the make-up of Parliament should reflect the national percentage of the vote.

You seem to be conveniently ignoring the current problems with special advisers being parachuted into safe seats and perpetuating the problems with parliament and the govt being full of professional politicians.
Luke90 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to beastofackworth:
> worse than FPTP?i think not

I did say "one of" the worst

I certainly think PR is bottom of the pile of commonly proposed alternatives to FPTP.

This website gives a pretty good rundown and explanation of the different options if anyone's interested by the way:
http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/article.php?id=5
Sargey - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
> (In reply to Luke90) Really? At the moment we have a Green MP, Caroline Lucas who scraped home with a small majority in FPTP, but nowhere close to >50% of the vote. It is almost certain that a huge propotion of her second choices would have been, if there was the option, Lib Dem or Labour.
>
> As such under AV she wouldn't have been elected.

I'm not sure this is a sound argument. You could just as easily argue that many Labour or Lib Dems would have voted for Lucas as second choice and then she would have still won.

Personally as someone who leans left I like the idea. I feel the left vote is generally more split than the right and I would rather a system where I can effectively vote against the Tories rather than see a three way split benefit the Tories.

(This assumes that the Lib Dems will eventually return to a more leftwards position than they currently occupy)
KTT on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to wayno265: Of course there are safe seats but remember what happened to Neil Hamilton? He was a sitting Tory and lost one of the safest seats in the country.

Now why do you think that you wouldn't have safe Labour seats in Tredegar or safe tory seats in Henly upon Thames?

Or would you prefer that 46% of the electorate in Tredegar / HoT didn't get their first choice because of the reject votes of all the others?

So do you think that there should be 5 BNP members of Parliament because they got about 4% of the vote?
Luke90 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
> Really? At the moment we have a Green MP, Caroline Lucas who scraped home with a small majority in FPTP, but nowhere close to >50% of the vote. It is almost certain that a huge propotion of her second choices would have been, if there was the option, Lib Dem or Labour.
> As such under AV she wouldn't have been elected.

I still don't understand what makes you think she wouldn't have been elected in this example. By "her" second choices, do you mean the second choices of people who put her as their first preference? Those "second-choice" votes don't get counted until their first choice has already been eliminated from the contest ie. if we assume everyone who voted would have chosen the same first choice under AV then she would have won the first round, the candidate with the least votes would then have been eliminated from the contest and only the votes of people who had the eliminated candidate down as their first preference would switch to their second preferences. The process repeats until one candidate has a majority of votes. What makes you think a vast proportion of those secondary votes would go against the Green candidate and towards some other single party?

Reading my explanation back to myself I don't think I've actually made it particularly clear. Regardless of that, the beauty of the system is that nobody needs to understand it's inner workings to use their vote wisely, they simply have to rank the candidates in order of their preference. All need for tactical voting is eliminated.
KTT on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Sargey: So you like the system because you think it prejudices your sort of party. Well that's very democratic of you, I'm sure think that the GDR was really democratic!
KTT on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90: What I mean is they'd vote Green 1, Lib dem 2, Labour 3, Monster Raving Loony 4 and Tory 5 (of course you can swap 2&3 at will).

As such the chances are that you'd end up with a green vs lib dem contest and the chances are that the lib dems would win because they'd get lots of 2nd choices from tories and labour.
banned profile 74 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90: the problem for me is i want to vote for a party so i vote for my local candidate who represents that party,i dont want to give a second vote or a third vote.i would rather the voting system stay the same but the way its represented that changes
Yanis Nayu - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:

> So do you think that there should be 5 BNP members of Parliament because they got about 4% of the vote?

On that point, yes, I think I do, although I wouldn't be contributing to the 4%.

Interesting point above about second preferences counting. There was a lot of talk about the left's vote being split between labour and libdem (although how bizarre that seems now).
KTT on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to wayno265: Why should a party that represents 1% of the electorate get a substantial voice in government? After all probably more than 1% believe in young earth creation, Elvis is alive and the government had a hand in organising the 7/7 bombs.

Why should these cretins get their voice heard?
Luke90 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:

I'm not sure that the lib dems would necessarily get any more second preference votes from tory and labour voters than the greens. Whether they did or not, the winning candidate would hopefully have the broadest level of support, with less constituents who are directly against the choice.

Moving away from the single constituency example, I think small parties like the greens and independents would stand to benefit across the country because people wouldn't have to worry about "throwing away their vote" on a candidate who doesn't seem to be in with a realistic chance. I've voted for major parties in the past when I really would have preferred the independent candidate to win but had to vote tactically.
Sargey - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
> (In reply to Sargey) So you like the system because you think it prejudices your sort of party. Well that's very democratic of you, I'm sure think that the GDR was really democratic!

I don't understand your point. I like the system because it would help me get a government closer to the one I and other people with similar views want. If my expectations are right then it would be to the detriment of the Tories, but one could equally argue the current system prejudices against my preferences so why should the current one be regarded as more democratic?
Luke90 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to beastofackworth:

You wouldn't need to give a second or third vote. You could carry on giving one vote for your preferred party in the same way you always have.

Although I've never used the facility to date, I like to know that I have a local MP, specifically elected to represent my views as a local citizen, and that if I need to use that representation I could go to them. PR loses that link.

I also don't like the idea of giving more power to the party machines (but I've said that already), perhaps you have more faith in them than I do? I think they would use their power over MPs to force even more partisan votes strictly along party lines and politics would become even more "politicised" (in the least positive meaning of the word).
KTT on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Sargey: So if the same system proposed would favour the Tories you'd be against it?

In other words you don't care about democracy just a system that puts your lot into power.

Jim Fraser - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:

AV?

Yes.

Why yes, when I am a long-standing campaigner for the original British proportional system, Single Transferable Vote (STV).

1) AV is more representational in that there is a link from the choices that most of the electors make to the eventual victor. This is not the same as proportionality and AV is not a proportional system.

2) AV doesn't change the outcome all that much and therefore it is something that, with a fair wind, we can sneak past the Tory and Labour parties.

3) It is a small, and barely visible step, from AV to STV. STV provides true Proportional Representation with limited opportunities for manipulation by the party machine. When we get the LibDem government in 2015 this wil happen fairly quickly.
Jim Fraser - on 17 Feb 2011
Sargey - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
> (In reply to Sargey) So if the same system proposed would favour the Tories you'd be against it?
>
> In other words you don't care about democracy just a system that puts your lot into power.

If "my lot" is preferred my more people then yes! If a considerable amount of UKIP second preference votes went to the Tories then it might work the other way.

I appreciate you object to my argument, because of its bluntness, but in terms of levels of democracy it is just different, not necessarily worse.
Luke90 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Jim Fraser:
> When we get the LibDem government in 2015

I think that ship may have sailed!

The New NickB - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
> (In reply to Luke90) Really? At the moment we have a Green MP, Caroline Lucas who scraped home with a small majority in FPTP, but nowhere close to >50% of the vote. It is almost certain that a huge propotion of her second choices would have been, if there was the option, Lib Dem or Labour.
>
Who do you think the second choices of the Lib Dem or Labour voters would be? I am not sure that AV is the answer, but equally I am not sure your criticism holds water.
Phil Payne - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT: I was just thinking about how I would vote under AV.

If there were 5 parties on the ballot paper, Labour, Lib Dems, Conservatives, UKIP and The Greens and I wanted to vote for Lib Dems but definitely not Labour or Conservative then my ballot paper would look like this:

1 Lib Dems
2 Green
3 UKIP
4 Labour
5 Conservatives

If this was in a traditionally marginal seat and all the staunch supporters decided like me to vote tactically, you could end up with a situation where a minor party like the Greens get elected by default, even though they weren't the first choice of more than a few %.
Phil Payne - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Phil Payne:

Just thinking about it a bit more. Maybe when they have the referendum they should have a mock election at the same time, just to see what sort of results we would be likely to get and if there are any nasty surprises.
Luke90 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Phil Payne:

Is that actually a bad situation though? That's the crux of the debate about AV. If lots of people have put a candidate as their second choice then that shows significant support.

I would argue that electing a compromise candidate who a substantial majority of the electorate feel positive towards is a better option than electing one who just over 30% of the population support and a large proportion of the remainder actively dislike.
winhill - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:

AV? It's not my first choice * Jimmy Carr
Phil Payne - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:

I see what you're saying, but my point was that I would put Greens second not because they were my second choice, but because I absolutely didn't want my vote to go to either of the other 2 major parties in second or third count. I think a lot of people would vote like that and we would end up with a parliament full of people that nobody really voted for as first choice.

I think an alternative form of AV (AAV), where you have the option of just choosing one candidate if you want to, would be a better option.
Luke90 on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Phil Payne:
> I see what you're saying, but my point was that I would put Greens second not because they were my second choice, but because I absolutely didn't want my vote to go to either of the other 2 major parties in second or third count
Then putting the Greens second was a mistake on your part and I don't see why we should expect lots of people to make the same mistake. If you prefer the Greens to Labour, UKIP and the Tories then do as you said and place the Greens second. If you would prefer one of those other three parties to the Greens then you're mistaken in putting the Greens 2nd because they're not your second choice. There's no rational reason to vote "tactically", you should base your voting order purely on your actual preferences. That's the great advantage of the system and something that huge numbers of people don't seem to understand. I think tactical voting is too ingrained in our heads!

> I think an alternative form of AV (AAV), where you have the option of just choosing one candidate if you want to, would be a better option.

You WOULD have that option. If you genuinely have no preference between the candidates other than your favourite (or just have a headache when you go to vote and can't be bothered to think about it), there's nothing to stop you from only voting for one candidate.
Phil Payne - on 17 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:

Ooops, I must have missed the bit where it says you have an option to just vote for one candidate. If that's the case, I don't see a problem with AV.
David Riley - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:

The current system seems honest and optimistic, concentrating on what ideally your choice would be. The alternative focuses more on excluding anything you don't like and could lead to nothing ever getting done.
Luke90 on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to David Riley:
> (In reply to KTT)
>
> The current system seems honest and optimistic, concentrating on what ideally your choice would be.

We don't live in an ideal world though and any notional "idealism" in FPTP gets tainted by the real world need to vote tactically.

> The alternative focuses more on excluding anything you don't like and could lead to nothing ever getting done.

I think that just depends on your chosen outlook. You could choose to see it as putting your least favourite party on the bottom and piling your other votes on top to keep them out. You could equally choose to look at it as chance to vote positively for more parties that you do like. Glass half empty? Glass half full? It's the same thing in the end.

It does seem likely to lead to more coalitions but I'm not sure that's such a bad thing. For example, it could lead to more stable treatment of Education and the NHS based on longer term consensus rather than swinging wildly from one party's ideals to the opposite end of the spectrum each election with no system ever getting chance to really have a positive impact and every bit of tampering by politicians costing money and causing annoyance and confusion to those who have to work in the ever-changing systems.
KevinD - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
> (In reply to wayno265) Of course there are safe seats but remember what happened to Neil Hamilton? He was a sitting Tory and lost one of the safest seats in the country.

a rather special case though.

For AV in general i am really not sure. Our current system has a lot wrong with it giving way to much influence to a small number of swing voters but whether the other methods will fix it is a different matter.

To take the BNP case, while personally i am more than happy they arent represented, is it really a good thing that those peoples votes count for nothing? Wouldnt it be better to defeat them on policy rather than simply shutting them out.

KevinD - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to dissonance:

I guess one up/side (delete as appropriate) is we could end up like Belgium.

250 days and counting without a national government

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/17/belgium-elect-government-split
winhill - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:
> (In reply to Phil Payne)
> There's no rational reason to vote "tactically", you should base your voting order purely on your actual preferences. That's the great advantage of the system and something that huge numbers of people don't seem to understand. I think tactical voting is too ingrained in our heads!

To it's distractors it's the great weakness of the system, as now a candidate who doesn't reach the random and magic 50% is replaced by the 'least worse' option.

So now the overall winner is replaced by the 'least worse choice of 50%'. Why this is preferable is the question.

As to the suggestion that tactical voting may get replaced, this is naive in the extreme, this is the institutionalisation of tactical voting, as coalitions can be established before voting and return realisable results.

The AV referendum is itself a result of this, the Cons don't want it, the LibDums don't want but they've decided that we'll vote on something that no-one proposed.

It's a complete dogs dinner, dried biscuits without meat.
David Riley - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:
>it could lead to more stable treatment of Education and the NHS based on longer term consensus rather than swinging wildly from one party's ideals to the opposite end of the spectrum each election with no system ever getting chance to really have a positive impact and every bit of tampering by politicians costing money and causing annoyance and confusion to those who have to work in the ever-changing systems.

People think they don't want change. But everything has to continually adapt to new conditions or else things would fall apart. Different parties have different views on solutions. Some work, some don't. You have to try.
Luke90 on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to winhill:
> random and magic 50%

What's random and magic about the concept of a majority?!

> So now the overall winner is replaced by the 'least worse choice of 50%'. Why this is preferable is the question.

Because "overall winner" isn't as clearcut a concept as you make it out to be. FPTP can get a candidate elected by a minority of voters in a constituency where the majority are actively opposed to that candidate. Adding consideration of people's preferences lower down the order gives everyone more of a voice and should reduce the number of widely unpopular MPs.

> As to the suggestion that tactical voting may get replaced, this is naive in the extreme, this is the institutionalisation of tactical voting, as coalitions can be established before voting and return realisable results.

I don't quite follow your argument about pre-established coalitions but if I'm being naive I'd love to be enlightened. Obviously I'm not trying to claim that this will stop politicians from playing silly political games. What I do think it would mean is that in the voting booth I wouldn't have to worry about how other members of my constituency would be likely to vote, I would just vote based on the issues and in order of my preferences. If I strongly supported an independent or a minor party I could register my support without having to worry about whether that inadvertently let my least favourite candidate be "first past the post".
Luke90 on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to winhill:
> The AV referendum is itself a result of this, the Cons don't want it, the LibDums don't want but they've decided that we'll vote on something that no-one proposed.

> It's a complete dogs dinner, dried biscuits without meat.

Well, it's more change than the Conservatives want and less change than the Lib Dems want. I guess that's called a compromise, is that such a terrible concept?!
Luke90 on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to David Riley:
> People think they don't want change. But everything has to continually adapt to new conditions or else things would fall apart. Different parties have different views on solutions. Some work, some don't. You have to try.

I'm not against change at all and I'm not suggesting that AV would or should lead to freezing systems in place and not changing them. What I'm suggesting is that rapid swings from one set of party political ideals to another every 4 years isn't a productive way to pilot large organisations like the NHS or the education system. Big, sudden changes cost money, cause confusion and take a long time to be fully implemented. When a completely different government with different ideological preconceptions takes over after 4 years, the whole system gets shaken up again and no system ever gets chance to show results.

Coalition government requiring genuine cross-party consensus could hopefully (and perhaps I really am being naive here!) lead to more sensible tweaking and refining of these systems rather than big regular shake-ups by politicians who feel they have to make their mark before they lose power.
David Riley - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:

Life is short. It's good to have a system that makes politicians want to get on with it.
winhill - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:
> (In reply to winhill0
>
> Well, it's more change than the Conservatives want and less change than the Lib Dems want. I guess that's called a compromise, is that such a terrible concept?!
Yes, it has value only according to it's perceived relative position, it has no value in itself.
winhill - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> What's random and magic about the concept of a majority?!
>
> Because "overall winner" isn't as clearcut a concept as you make it out to be. FPTP can get a candidate elected by a minority of voters in a constituency where the majority are actively opposed to that candidate. Adding consideration of people's preferences lower down the order gives everyone more of a voice

'More of a voice'??? WTF does that mean? You'll be saying it increases the wellbeing of the constituency next. It's made up random, magic, wooish, superstititious, new agey, Anthea Turner bollox.
>
> I don't quite follow your argument about pre-established coalitions but if I'm being naive I'd love to be enlightened. Obviously I'm not trying to claim that this will stop politicians from playing silly political games. What I do think it would mean is that in the voting booth I wouldn't have to worry about how other members of my constituency would be likely to vote,

Take Oldham as an example where the Cons sat back to allow the LibDum guy a second shot, an informal coalition, already spoken about in Westminster, where the Cons and the LibQuislings agree to second choice each other. If you didn't want more of the Clegg-Cameron Fuk You All Show you may well have to consider how your fellow constituents were voting.
Luke90 on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to winhill:
> 'More of a voice'??? WTF does that mean? You'll be saying it increases the wellbeing of the constituency next. It's made up random, magic, wooish, superstititious, new agey, Anthea Turner bollox.

My chosen phrase might have been slightly wooly but the concept I was talking about is a simple logical fact. If you allow people to express more preferences you allow them to more accurately express their opinion on the full range of candidates. The vote becomes a more refined and more nuanced tool.

> Take Oldham as an example where the Cons sat back to allow the LibDum guy a second shot

An unfortunate example for your argument because AV would have undermined the logic behind the Conservatives minimising their campaign. The Conservatives held back to ensure that they didn't inadvertently steal votes from the Lib Dems and let Labour in. That "vote-stealing" aspect is removed under AV.

> an informal coalition, already spoken about in Westminster, where the Cons and the LibQuislings agree to second choice each other

What exactly do you mean by "second choice each other". Only the voters in the booths get to decide who they give their second preference vote to. You've either wildly misunderstood AV or you need to explain more clearly what you actually think the parties would be doing.
Jim Fraser - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:
> (In reply to Jim Fraser)
> [...]
>
> I think that ship may have sailed!

It's out there waiting for ther tide to turn.
Dirk Didler on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT: am nae english ye numpty
Ramblin dave - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
> (In reply to Luke90) What I mean is they'd vote Green 1, Lib dem 2, Labour 3, Monster Raving Loony 4 and Tory 5 (of course you can swap 2&3 at will).
>
> As such the chances are that you'd end up with a green vs lib dem contest and the chances are that the lib dems would win because they'd get lots of 2nd choices from tories and labour.

The other side of this, though, is that there are a lot of people who would potentially have voted green but didn't because voting for anyone other than labour, tories or lib dem is a 'wasted vote'. I don't have any evidence for this, but I'd guess that the greens have a much stronger vote in seats that are 'safe' for a major party than in seats that are marginal tory - because in the latter a lot of potential green voters would vote liberal or labour as a tactical vote to get the tories out, whereas in the former there's no chance of getting the tories out so they may as well 'protest vote' for the greens.

The big advantage of AV is that you can have your 'protest vote' and then, assuming your minority candidate loses, your second and third choices effectively do the tactical vote for you without you having to think about it as a tactical thing or compromise your first choice.

What it doesn't do much about, afaict, is parties ignoring safe seats and their core support to chase after the middle ground in 'key marginals'.
winhill - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> My chosen phrase might have been slightly wooly but the concept I was talking about is a simple logical fact. If you allow people to express more preferences you allow them to more accurately express their opinion on the full range of candidates. The vote becomes a more refined and more nuanced tool.

This assumes we are interested in their opinions of the other candidates. There is no way of knowing if it is refined or nuanced unless we know what we are refining, the is lioke the judgement of Solomon, it cuts the baby into equal but totally useless 'fair' portions.
>
> An unfortunate example for your argument because AV would have undermined the logic behind the Conservatives minimising their campaign. The Conservatives held back to ensure that they didn't inadvertently steal votes from the Lib Dems and let Labour in. That "vote-stealing" aspect is removed under AV.

Oldham is an example of backroom deals, not minimising one's campaign.

Ramblin dave - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to Luke90)
> [...]
>
> This assumes we are interested in their opinions of the other candidates.

Isn't being interested in their opinions of the candidates kind of the point of democracy?

If, to construct an extreme example, you have a constituency where 32% of people would put lib dem then labour, 33% of people would put labour then lib dem and 35% of people would put tory then lib dem, is it really fairer to return a tory candidate when 65% of the voters would have preferred either of the other two?
Ramblin dave - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Ramblin dave:
To put it another way, can anyone describe a situation where AV gives a 'worse' result (in terms of representativeness, not in terms of our opinions of the parties involved) than FPTP?
Sarah G on 18 Feb 2011

You know, it is still possible for voters to simply put "1" against their preferred candidate and leave the rest blank.

However, as most would end up, sheep-like, putting something against all if not most of the candidates as a ranking, then it is highly likely that no-one will get what they think they have voted for.

Sx
winhill - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> To put it another way, can anyone describe a situation where AV gives a 'worse' result (in terms of representativeness, not in terms of our opinions of the parties involved) than FPTP?

Anywhere where the winner didn't get 50% of first preference votes.

You have used 'fairness' (we all know what fcuking Clegg means by fairness now) and 'representativeness' which are largely meaningless it's all just 'wellbeing'.

Even Clegg today in parliament struggled to find something positive about AV, it is a solution to other problems, according to Clegg, it has no value in itself. His argument is 'we need change and any change will do'.
rony - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT: It is simple. If you think it is more important to not have someone you don't want than it is to have someone you do want then support AV. Otherwise support FPP.
Ramblin dave - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> Anywhere where the winner didn't get 50% of first preference votes.
>

What, like happens in any remotely marginal seat at the moment? As soon as you go past a two party system you lose the idea that 50% majority = returned candidate.

Give me an actual breakdown of voting intentions that ends up with the 'right' candidate getting in under FPTP but not under AV.

What you lose under AV is the situation where a majority of people don't mind which of A or B they get provided they don't get C and as a result they end up getting C.
Ramblin dave - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Ramblin dave:
Edit:
for "50% majority = returned candidate" read "returned candidate = 50% majority".

As it stands about two thirds of UK MPs DIDN'T get 50% or more of the vote in their constituency at the last general election.
winhill - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> Give me an actual breakdown of voting intentions that ends up with the 'right' candidate getting in under FPTP but not under AV.

You're just Ramblin now, you've done this yourself further up the thread.

> What you lose under AV is the situation where a majority of people don't mind which of A or B they get provided they don't get C and as a result they end up getting C.

Yes, we need to introduce a category of 'it's alright'<gallic shrug> to judge elections.

FFS The question is AV the best way to resolve this or is it just a complete mess or as Clegg called it a miserable little compromise.
Luke90 on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to winhill:
> This assumes we are interested in their opinions of the other candidates.

Well you only have to rank the other candidates if you see a difference between them. If you see one candidate as the only sensible option and all others as equally bad then you could just give one vote for your favourite and leave it at that. I think the vast majority of people have one preferred candidate, one or two candidates that they definitely wouldn't like to see get in and some others in the middle. AV would accord those shades of grey the significance they deserve and allow a real consensus to be found rather than a polarised position where the winning candidate has relatively little real support.

> Oldham is an example of backroom deals, not minimising one's campaign.

As I understood it, the suggestion is that the Tories ran a weak campaign to make sure they didn't "steal votes" from the Lib Dems and give Labour the seat, thereby weakening their coalition. That scenario wouldn't occur under AV because there would be no "vote stealing". Perhaps you could actually explain what would have made the Oldham by-election worse under AV? You haven't really addressed my point.
Ramblin dave - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> You're just Ramblin now, you've done this yourself further up the thread.

So in a situation where almost two thirds of people want "anyone but candidate X" it would be a bad thing not to return candidate X?

>
> [...]
>
> Yes, we need to introduce a category of 'it's alright'<gallic shrug> to judge elections.

This is what we've got at the moment, though. If I don't like any of the mainstream parties but I think that some of them are less worse than others, I would have to think twice about whether to campaign for a non mainstream party that actually represents what I believe in because I'd risk 'splitting the vote' for my least worst mainstream candidate. So instead we all just put up or shut up with a party that we basically can't stand on the grounds that they're not quite as bad as the others.
KTT on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Ramblin dave: The thing with FPTP is that if a candidate of the dominant party is despised they can lose on a low turn out, an independent Labour / Tory or even genuine indpendent standing and getting in, like that retired doctor.

I don't see that AV wil do anything other than lead to the most popular candidate losing on second and third choices, as let's face it if the AV only validates the winner then it in effect does nothing.

How many people on here know who their MP is and what the majority was and what was the share of the vote.

if you cna't answer from emmory then it doesn't matter to you.


Eric9Points - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:

Could I suggest that those who are hypothesising over the consequences of proportional representation take a look at Scotland where we have had several elections using a similar system.

Coalition is more likely and parties can work together.

You get a broader representation of parties in Parliament. In this Parliament, for example, we have two Green MSPs. There were more before the last election which was very closely fought and squeezed the minor parties.

I like the system, I'll be voting yes.
birdie num num - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
< AV, yes or no? >

Num Num just can't decide.
Jim Fraser - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> Edit:
> for "50% majority = returned candidate" read "returned candidate = 50% majority".
>
> As it stands about two thirds of UK MPs DIDN'T get 50% or more of the vote in their constituency at the last general election.

And so with AV, the one that wins is not necessarily the one with the most first preference votes but the one with support at some level from the greatest number of electors.
teflonpete - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:

It will guarantee an end to tactical voting, the great unwashed (myself included) won't understand it.
John_Hat - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:

Personlly, I think we currentl have a system where we have two parites with fairly differing views, and under the current system these are the only parties that can realistically win an election and form a government.

This results in 10-ish years of a selection of one set of polices being implemented, then 10-ish years of those policies being unwound (at huge cost) and a new, diametrically opposite set of policies being put through (also at huge cost), followed by the same again in the opposite direction ad infinitum.

This appears, to me, a bl**dy daft way of carrying on.

Hence I think a system that forces coalition, resulting in a less polarised political system with, well you never know, compromise away from the particular party in power's current pet theories is a good thing.

Hence I'll support AV.
winhill - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to KTT)
>
> Could I suggest that those who are hypothesising over the consequences of proportional representation take a look at Scotland where we have had several elections using a similar system.

AV isn't PR, that's the whole point, it's why Clegg is a f*ckup.
winhill - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to KTT)
>
> This results in 10-ish years of a selection of one set of polices being implemented, then 10-ish years of those policies being unwound (at huge cost) and a new, diametrically opposite set of policies being put through (also at huge cost), followed by the same again in the opposite direction ad infinitum.
>
> This appears, to me, a bl**dy daft way of carrying on.
>
> Hence I think a system that forces coalition, resulting in a less polarised political system with, well you never know, compromise away from the particular party in power's current pet theories is a good thing.
>
> Hence I'll support AV.

This is totally f*cked up John, totally f*cked up. You're an Anthea Turner.
John_Hat - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
> [...]
>
> This is totally f*cked up John, totally f*cked up.

Why? Now I am quite happy to admit I am wrong - hell, my general view of politicians is that voting is often merely choosing which lunatic will run the asylum and try and choose the set of folk that will make the least mess of things - so please feel free to enlighten a poor backwoodsman as to why the view above is "f*cked up"?

I'm asking out of genuine curiosity, by the way. Politics is not a subject with which I have much patience, hence I am more than happy to admit there may be some major and crucial knowledge that has passed me by...
Luke90 on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to John_Hat:
> so please feel free to enlighten a poor backwoodsman as to why the view above is "f*cked up"?

I'm coming to the conclusion that Winhill doesn't do "enlightenment" or "explanation". He delivers derisive or insulting judgements on other people's opinions and then refuses to back them up with any kind of genuine explanation. He hasn't replied to me since I last asked him to explain his point. Classic internet troll.
Luke90 on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to John_Hat:
> This results in 10-ish years of a selection of one set of polices being implemented, then 10-ish years of those policies being unwound (at huge cost) and a new, diametrically opposite set of policies being put through (also at huge cost), followed by the same again in the opposite direction ad infinitum.

> This appears, to me, a bl**dy daft way of carrying on.

Exactly! I don't understand why "coalition" is seen as such a dangerous concept.
Luke90 on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
> The thing with FPTP is that if a candidate of the dominant party is despised they can lose on a low turn out...

The candidates of major parties shouldn't have to be "despised" before anybody else has a hope of success. Don't you think that's setting the bar a bit too low?!

> I don't see that AV wil do anything other than lead to the most popular candidate losing on second and third choices

If the most popular candidate does end up losing on second and third choices then I think it's legitimate to question whether they were really the "most popular" candidate in the first place.

> let's face it if the AV only validates the winner then it in effect does nothing.

In many constituencies, in many elections, AV might not change the result. That doesn't actually make it any less worthwhile, nobody's claiming that it could, should or would change the result in every single case.

> How many people on here know who their MP is and what the majority was and what was the share of the vote.
if you cna't answer from emmory then it doesn't matter to you.

That's quite a leap you've made there! I can name my MP but I have no idea of the voting tallies. Why should my memory have any bearing on my opinion of AV?!
winhill - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to winhill)
> so please feel free to enlighten a poor backwoodsman as to why the view above is "f*cked up"?

Traditionally, the way to resolve a problem would be to identify it, measure it and then identify solutions, with some examination of the impact of your proposed solutions.

The NHS, for example, hasn't suffered hugely from the different approaches, it has suffered from misfunding and underfunding. One solution to that might be to allow practioners a bit more of a say in delivery and provision but probably not funding. Another solution might be to remove funding altogether and move over to insurance and full privatisiation.

What I doubt you'll find many commentators saying is that it is the variance in management that has caused many of the problems the NHS has, especially given the recent middle of the road approach to market reforms, for almost 20 years.

Now even if there was a problem that was identified as being mainly caused by the variance of approach of different political parties, why would we assume that the solution was to limit the governance of the entire nation, just to make sure that the NHS was somehow ringfenced and insulated from change?

It's not just AV that is fcuked up, it's the approach and methodolgy that is fcuked up.

AV is not the solution to anything in particular, but somehow will become the solution to everything in general .
winhill - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
> He hasn't replied to me since I last asked him to explain his point. Classic internet troll.

You went off on a complete strawman, so I didn't address the strawman. soz.
Luke90 on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to winhill:
Which part of my post do you consider to be bringing up a straw man? I'll freely admit that I could have misinterpreted one or more of your points because some of them didn't make much sense to me!
winhill - on 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90: Oldham, it's very clear.

if that isn't the bit you're on about then I have no idea what you are waffling about, although I know it involves Anthea Turner and some curative mud.
Luke90 on 19 Feb 2011
In reply to winhill:
Oldham's a subject that you brought up! I don't understand what you think the relevance is to AV though which is why I asked you to explain. You've said that it's an example of backroom deals but it's also an example of a kind of backroom deal which would be redundant and unnecessary under AV. If you're going to bring up an example of a problem under the current system that you seem to support then you're either shooting yourself in the foot or you need to explain how the situation would be worse if we brought in AV. I fail to see how asking you to explain an example that you yourself brought up can be considered setting up a straw man.
Mike Stretford - on 19 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT: Clegg was right fist time, it is a miserable little compromise. It's just tactical voting for people who are to daft to vote tactically. I still might vote for it though as there are a lot of daft people about.
thomasadixon - on 19 Feb 2011
In reply to John_Hat:

Why do you think AV will mean there are more coalition governments? Why do you think AV will help smaller parties?

I vote for small party X, they don't get 50%, my alternative vote is likely to be either labour or conservative (as it is likely to be for most others), either labour or conservative still get in. There's no change to the system, broad consensus parties are still likely to win overall.
birdie num num - on 19 Feb 2011
In reply to KTT:
Num Num is wondering if the referendum on AV might mean that we could vote AV in on a first past the post basis or, will Num Num be able to have 1 vote on the nose for first past the post and a vote each way for AV, or can he do a double?
Pan Ron - on 20 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:
What is so important about local representation? PR erodes it but doesn't remove it. I don't think that is a bad thing, certainly not when balanced against the inherent unfairness of non proportional systems.

What is surprising is that the argument is even being made that a FPP system is in any way desirable.
Pan Ron - on 20 Feb 2011
In reply to David Riley:
> (In reply to KTT)
>
> The current system seems honest and optimistic, concentrating on what ideally your choice would be. The alternative focuses more on excluding anything you don't like and could lead to nothing ever getting done.

Really? Under the current system I vote for a party I don't like because the alternative is worse and despite the fact that another minor 3rd party is actually my preferred choice.

Under an AV system I can give a rank to my choices with no need for so called tactical voting.
Pan Ron - on 20 Feb 2011
In reply to teflonpete:
> (In reply to KTT)
>
> It will guarantee an end to tactical voting, the great unwashed (myself included) won't understand it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/interactive/2010/may/10/proportional-representation-alternative-v...
birdie num num - on 20 Feb 2011
In reply to David Martin:
> (In reply to Luke90)
> What is so important about local representation? PR erodes it but doesn't remove it. I don't think that is a bad thing, certainly not when balanced against the inherent unfairness of non proportional systems.

Num Num thinks that a 'Fair' system of voting won't necessarily lead to a fair administration. They'll still make a right mess of things with their incessant meddling. But at least everyone can feel they had a hand in the ensuing chaos and we can all point our fingers at eachother.
Luke90 on 20 Feb 2011
In reply to David Martin:
> What is so important about local representation? PR erodes it but doesn't remove it.

To be honest, it's the power of the party list that concerns me more with PR. My personal preference out of the commonly proposed systems would be STV, which does have an increased element of proportionality.
Jim Fraser - on 20 Feb 2011
In reply to David Martin:
> (In reply to David Riley)
> [...]
>
> Under an AV system I can give a rank to my choices with no need for so called tactical voting.


That is the crux of the YES case really. Strangely, it brings Pashtun princicpals of Sialy, Jirga and Roogha (equality, compromise ...) to British politics through allowing a voice to everyone and electing those with the widest support.

Pan Ron - on 20 Feb 2011
In reply to Jim Fraser:

Indeed. My country of birth went through the referendum to abandon FPP almost 20 years ago. I recall there was a fair bit of angst and a few interest groups throwing their weight around, more as a means of keeping the unfair status quo and their own positions.

Looking back, the decision to remove FPP was not far removed from giving women the vote in terms of importance. Those on the wrong side of it look a bit ridiculous now, as do their arguments, so it would be a shame to see England fail to make the change.

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