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Bollitics: The AV Referendum


mjmooney
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How Will you Vote  

73 members have voted

  1. 1. How Will you Vote

    • I will Vote Yes, for AV
      37
    • I will vote No, Everything's fine as it is
      15
    • I can't be bovvered. I'm washing my hair
      7
    • Christ, I'm in the wrong thread
      6
    • I will vote no, AV doesn't go far enough and will block real reform
      8


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  • VT Supporter

No, not Aston Villa, but Alternative Voting system for the UK - referendum to be held on May 5th.

At present, the UK uses the 'first past the post' system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the 'alternative vote' system be used instead'? Yes or no?

Will you even vote on it?

Can we have a (VT) poll please, mods?

First YouGov have repeated a question they first asked back in 2010 on how well people understand electoral systems (or think they understand them!), including the Alternative Vote. Last year 68% of people said they had heard of AV, with 33% saying they also had a broad idea of how it worked. Last week YouGov repeated the question, now 84% of people have heard of AV (up 16 points) and 46% people said they had a broad understanding of how it works (up 13 points). This still means over half of people don’t even think they understand what AV is.

UK Polling Report

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Oui.

Huge advocate of PR and electoral reform here, even though I hate what the Lie Dems have now become.

In principle I believe firmly in a fair system of Proportional Representation. Whether AV will give us that I don't know, but IMO it's a step forward from the shite system we have now.

Absolutely zero chance of the British people voting Yes on this though.

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  • VT Supporter

No, AV is definitely NOT = PR.

As I understand it (and I would welcome corrections if I’ve got it wildly wrong), it works something like this:

Under AV, any party getting over 50% of the vote in a particular constituency would get in anyway, as they have a majority. Fair enough.

If no-one gets 50% of votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their backers' second choices allocated to those remaining.

This process continues until one candidate has at least 50% of all votes in that round.

Say voting is as follows:

40% Conservative

35% Lib Dem

25% Labour

Under current (FPTP) rules, the Tories would get in (despite the fact that 60% of the electorate apparently didn’t want them).

Under AV - Scenario One:

Lets’s say that ALL the Labour voters chose Lib Dem as their Number Two choice, and ALL the Lib Dems reciprocally chose Labour as their Number Two.

Labour drop out (as last-placed), but their “second choice” votes get added to the Lib Dem tally, giving them 60%, and so the Lib Dems get in, rather than the Tories.

Seems unfair in one way, in that the party that came first (Conservatives) does not win, but the party that came second does. On the other hand, a majority of voters (the 35% Lib Dems AND the 25% Labour, totalling 60%) made it clear – by backing each other with their “second choice” votes - that they DIDN’T want the Tories in, so perhaps it is fair after all?

After all the Tories did not get an overall majority, and there was clearly a degree of agreement between the other two parties, so perhaps the bigger of those two would better represent the views of the majority of voters?

BUT…

Under AV – Scenario Two:

But what if all the Labour voters had gone for Lib Dem as choice two - exactly as above - but all the Lib Dem voters had chosen the Conservative candidate as their second choice?

You’d still get the same result – the dropped-out Labour vote would still get their second-choice votes added to the Lib Dem total, and Lib Dems would win.

But the Tories could argue that the scond-choice votes from the LAST-PLACED party (the Labour voters who’d voted Lib Dem as second choice) were being given a disproportionate influence (decisively so, in fact), whereas the Lib Dem second-choice votes for the Conservatives (who are already the “winning” party in terms of first votes, remember) count for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. The last-placed losers get a bigger influence than the parties that came ahead of them. Doesn’t seem right, does it?

Of course, the above hypothetical examples are highly unlikely, in that they assume ALL second choice votes for one party going to one, and only one, other party - but they serve to illustrate the principle that it’s not an obviously foolproof or fair system.

TBH I haven’t decided yet, but I’m leaning towards an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” stance.

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Folks fear fascist and/or religious nutters find their way into power via the AV/PR system.

I'm no political historian, but IIRC whenever the BNP or somesuch manage to gain any political foothold they usually lose it next time round - they're not very good at administration (they're a bit dim).

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Oui.

Huge advocate of PR and electoral reform here, even though I hate what the Lie Dems have now become.

In principle I believe firmly in a fair system of Proportional Representation. Whether AV will give us that I don't know, but IMO it's a step forward from the shite system we have now.

Absolutely zero chance of the British people voting Yes on this though.

This, except that AV is not PR. The system is shite at current and although I don't think AV is perfect it's a step up.

But I really do hate what the Lib Dems have become, gutted to have voted for them, but luckily due to broken system my vote was worthless anyway.

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but I’m leaning towards an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” stance.

But it is broken! So many people live in safe seats and as such effectively have no vote, no voice and no reason to bother playing their part in the system.

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TBH I haven’t decided yet, but I’m leaning towards an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” stance.

I most certainly think it's broke.

IMO it's currently undemocratic/unfair, and for me that = broke.

My vote, quite simply, does not count.

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One of the surveys we carried out back in 2010 showed the second preferences of Lib Dem supporters as being

Labour 34%

Conservatives 26%

in the London mayor elections in 2004 Lib Dem first choice voters went 29 % Livingston to 22 % to Steven Norris

2008 Lib Dems went 31% to Ken and 30% to Boris ..

Edit

What is interesting with the London Elections is that the Lib Dems received 24% of overall second votes and the Greens 14% .. Ken received 12% , Boris 10% .. I wonder if a party like the Greens could be the main winners if we adopt the AV system ?

End

few years back Jenkins proposed AV+ , I think it has since been scrapped but would be a better system than the current AV system proposed

Personally i won't vote in this referendum and i should imagine turnout will be very low

but at least this government are going to deliver on their promise of a referendum which is more than the last shambles ever did

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  • Moderator

I've added a further option basically so I can vote in the poll.

Am I in favour of electoral reform? Hell Yes!

Am I in favour of AV? No.

AV doesn't go nearly far enough and if voted in it will hamper any further attempts to get real electoral reform in this country. AV is just a sop to the main parties as usual, AV is just Turkeys organising a vote that really says we're banning xmas without actually saying as much.

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  • Moderator

My vote, quite simply, does not count.

It won't under AV either. AV is just a con job there to preserve the Status Quo (and no Rossi / Parfitt jokes - thankfully the merry jester is on his hols -) )

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As people always do this to me when i create a poll can i say

I wanted to vote I can't be bovvered , however I'm not actually going to be washing my hair that day so your poll clearly is flawed and blah blah blah

yes you pedants know who you are :-)

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  • Moderator
if voted in it will hamper any further attempts to get real electoral reform in this country..
I think the opposite to this. I think a No vote will kill any further chance of improvement once and for all. AV is IMO a bit better than what we have now, and so I'll vote for it. If something that's only a bit better gets binned, then something a lot better will never have a chance. It's like chipping away at the wall they've set up around themselves.
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  • Moderator

It'll preserve the three party state, it actually works against minorities in practice so any smaller party who may be on the rise (like the greens for example in the last election) will get even less representation than they do now. The only thing it may do is give the third party a bit more power and right now...

So in practice it'll actually delay any significant reform by decades.

In theory it sounds great, in practice it'll keep things just they way they are with a few different localised results.

In short its the con job of electoral reform

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As ever, there will be vested interests in the wording of the question.

I doubt very much there will be a tick box along the lines of:

current system is crap but go away and think of something better than AV

just as we will never get a 'none of the above' box in any election, so you can only ever vote on loaded questions.

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It'll preserve the three party state, it actually works against minorities in practice so any smaller party who may be on the rise (like the greens for example in the last election) will get even less representation than they do now. The only thing it may do is give the third party a bit more power and right now...

So in practice it'll actually delay any significant reform by decades.

In theory it sounds great, in practice it'll keep things just they way they are with a few different localised results.

In short its the con job of electoral reform

No it doesn't work against the minorities, at least not in Australia where we have AV.

People who like the greens/UKIP/whoever are far more likely to actually vote for them if they can then put a second preference which means their vote is not wasted.

Reform by degrees is better than no reform at all.

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the current poll results suggest the most people want reform, but the AV winner will be a night of universal hair washing and as such the vast majority will not get what they want, i.e. either AV or some other reform.

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