More about AV
I feel compelled to write about AV again in response to some of what the No campaign are sending out. I am offended that they are trying to imply their system is more democratic!
They say it would give rise to more coalitions. But that will happen anyway if most of the population disagrees about who they want. It seems quite clear to me that most people don’t like any of the options at the moment and certainly not new labour or the conservatives. If they did, there would have been a clear winner.
Why do so few people bother to turn up to vote? Apathy is a trite answer – what causes the apathy if not a feeling of pointlessness. In a two party system, which FPTP favours, it is very hard for even the biggest third party to win, and other parties are totally a wasted vote, or a protest vote.
If only we had ‘none of the above’ as an option I’m sure we’d have higher attendance and the people who run our country would be alerted more clearly to the lack of support they have!
So we are likely to have more hung parliaments and coalitions anyway, whichever voting system we have.
In fact it even seems they are wrong, AV would be less likely to produce coalitions! I just read this on the Electoral Reform Society website as I was looking for links: “The Society has long argued that AV is the best system when you’re out to elect a single winner.” That doesn’t sound like a hung parliament to me.
Only 3 other countries use AV and Australia want to get rid of it? Then why oh why were we not allowed to vote on a better PR system? Why could we not have at least had a vote on keep the old system or change it for something better? Then if we all decided we want something, that is the time to discuss what.
AV was thrust on us as a compromise, the only alternative the conservatives would allow the lib dems at all. I was not happy about that at the time and I am not happy about it now and I am even more annoyed that they use this as an argument in their campaign! Not fair! But then, do I need to be surprised? It’s still better than FPTP!
It allows the second or third place candidate to win. Er yeah, what’s wrong with that? I’d rather have second or third best than the person I least want! If 40% of people want one person, but 60% want anybody but that person, but they can’t agree on who, then is it not better that they all have somebody none of them hate rather than somebody 60% of them hate?
The expense of implementing it. Well, that’s a tory ploy if ever I saw one! How much was it that the politicians were claiming in dodgy expenses? I’d rather have a slightly less undemocratic voting system than paying for them to have stuff I can’t afford anyway!
Someone else’s 5th preference is worth the same as my 1st preference. Er yeah and my 5th preference is worth as much as their 1st. I’m quite happy about that thanks very much! A veto vote might be better than a vote for anyway. (Maybe they would try a bit harder if we got to vote one of them off each week! 😉 )
“It would mean that supporters of the BNP and other fringe parties would decide who wins… That would encourage other candidates to pander to the likes of the BNP.” Actually why is it that the bnp don’t want AV then? Why should people who support other parties like the greens not have their voice heard?
Support for the two main parties is at an all time low. Why should we not be allowed to listen to other parties? The bnp is paraded as a Big Scary Monster because of the nazis, but in fact not very many people support them, they never were all that popular and what support they did have seems to have fizzled out. I live near some areas where the bnp used to be very popular, but this year in our local elections they have not put up a single candidate for lack of funds! Hardly a big scary!
In fact AV penalises such extremist parties as they would be unlikely to get many second choice votes. Which is why the bnp don’t want it.
The Electoral Reform Society also point out “It encourages candidates to chase second- and third-preferences, which lessens the need for negative campaigning (one doesn’t want to alienate the supporters of another candidate whose second preferences one wants) and rewards broad-church policies.” That has to be a good thing!