Monday, 23 August 2010

There Can Still Be 'Surprises'

The Staggers Blog, the New Statesman rolling blog, is not one that I normally read - and this is, I believe, the first time that I have linked to it. Discussing AV and the Australian result, it states:
"Comparing the frequency of hung parliaments in the past overlooks the role of the Liberal Democrats in the UK, who would be likely to benefit hugely from second preference votes under AV. If the system were to end up creating a three party system, it could indeed make hung parliaments more likely."
The continual repetition of this two/three party system, comprising the Lib/Lab/Con elements, I find increasingly annoying. Were AV to be introduced - far from certain, based on recent opinion polls - why should it be the LibDems who "would be likely to benefit hugely from second preference votes"?

Is it not just as feasible to speculate - which is all the the above statement is - that because people are fed up with the present political elite that they may just put what the media love to term 'minor parties' as their second preference? 

Fans of AV should remember that one doesn't always get what one expects!


pop said...

AV allows voters to honestly and clearly express their preference regarding their representation in parliament.

AV eliminates the risk of a 'wasted vote' which causes many people to vote with their 'head' for tactical reason rather than with their 'hearts' for what they really want.

You don't have to put 2nd or later preferences if you don't want to - you can just put a 1 by your favourite party.

However why deny people (like me) any say in who my MP is just because my first choice doesn't get in?

Witterings From Witney said...


1. No more than any other system
2. Nothing stopping them voting with their hearts under FPTP, surely?
3. If just putting 1 then what is the difference to FPTP?
4. Now if every party adopted truly open primaries including selection of a candidate, then candidates personality would not enter into equation - just their political beliefs.

pop said...

1. Under FPTP, if there is an independent candidate, who is virtually certain to not win, then however much you agree with them, voting for them is a wasted vote as far as your representation in parliament goes.

However AV means you can say they are your favoured candidate, but using later options say 'but if they are knocked out, then I would prefer X, then Y then Z'

2. FPTP means people worry about 'wasting' their vote so may not vote for the candidate they most support, but for the candidate they guess is most likely to be elected, who they disagree with least.

3. If you do that you have FPTP for your vote and I can have AV for mine - both happy :-)

4. That isn't whats on offer...

Woodsy42 said...

I think AV could change voting patterns a lot, and for the better.
My suspicion is that much current voting is 'negative' -i.e. people don't vote for who they want but vote for the party that is most likely to beat the ones they hate most.
Being honest I think I have always done this, even without always consciously doing so.
AV will free people to vote for who they really want, and I hope and belive that if we get AV the established parties will get one hell of a shock. The local independents, small parties and outsiders will get a chance.

circus monkey said...

AV is a recipe for sclerotic government.

Witterings From Witney said...

pop, woodsy42, sorry tend not to agree. More inclined to agree with cm.

Anyway, my prime complaint is who are the politicos to dictate to us a choice of two? We elect the bastards and we shud choose the method, consequently we should be allowed a choice from all systems available!