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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

A reminder to go out to vote today. You don't need your polling card if you've lost it, just turn up at your local polling station.

Personally, I'm voting Yes to AV. Mainly because I want people to be able to vote for who they want, not have to vote tactically because they're worried their vote will be "wasted". If we can all vote honestly, we should get politicians who are more responsive to the wishes of the electorate.

It's still one person one vote, and each vote counts the same number of times (once per round) - it's just that those who's candidates have been eliminated have it counting for someone else. You're far better off if your vote hasn't switched to another candidate, because then you're likely to get your first choice.

I appreciate that politics discussions can easily become politics arguments, and so I don't intend to have a prolonged discussion on the pros/cons of AV here. However I will say that if you haven't already made your mind up, then it's worth searching the internet for opinions beyond the yes/no campaign official websites, both of which seem to be targeting 7 year olds. This is probably the only chance to change the voting system for a generation - make an informed choice on the benefits/pitfalls of the change, rather than using it to kick one of Cameron/Clegg-this will last far longer than either of them.
 

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MIFLEX DIR = "Did It Rupture"??
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Without entering into a political discussion....

With AV, the only way that you can ensure that your vote counts towards the candidate that you want is to simply vote for the ONE candidate you want, and not rank them 1, 2, 3 etc.

If you do rank them, and your preferred choice is knocked out (say a candidate in a particular opposing party's stronghold) then, if no clear majority the chances are your vote will then go towards a candidate that you would have preferred NOT to have been elected (otherwise you would have voted for him as number 1, yes?)

How many people will be likely to give an order to the candidates standing, not realising that in the event of no clear majority their vote will in effect go towards a candidate that they would have preferred did not win? (Or they would have voted for them in the first place).

Single vote for a single candidate. You then avoid any "confusion" and recalculating second / third choices etc and you either get the candidate you voted for or more people voted for the eventual winner. Simples.

G
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Without entering into a political discussion....

With AV, the only way that you can ensure that your vote counts towards the candidate that you want is to simply vote for the ONE candidate you want, and not rank them 1, 2, 3 etc.

If you do rank them, and your preferred choice is knocked out (say a candidate in a particular opposing party's stronghold) then, if no clear majority the chances are your vote will then go towards a candidate that you would have preferred NOT to have been elected (otherwise you would have voted for him as number 1, yes?)

How many people will be likely to give an order to the candidates standing, not realising that in the event of no clear majority their vote will in effect go towards a candidate that they would have preferred did not win? (Or they would have voted for them in the first place).

Single vote for a single candidate. You then avoid any "confusion" and recalculating second / third choices etc and you either get the candidate you voted for or more people voted for the eventual winner. Simples.
I'm not 100% sure I understand your point. If there are cases where you'd genuinely be happy with either of 2 candidates, then numbering them 1 and 2 allows you to express that. I agree that if you feel that only one of the candidates are any use to you, and if you don't get them then you have no preference amongst the others, then you should just indicate your first candidate.
 

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MIFLEX DIR = "Did It Rupture"??
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I'm not 100% sure I understand your point. If there are cases where you'd genuinely be happy with either of 2 candidates, then numbering them 1 and 2 allows you to express that. I agree that if you feel that only one of the candidates are any use to you, and if you don't get them then you have no preference amongst the others, then you should just indicate your first candidate.
If there are cases where you would be happy with either of two candidates, then you will be equally happy with more of the coalition governments that will form as a result of AV. In other words, if you genuinely don't mind which of two candidates are elected, why not have both?

If you have a preference for one candidate over another then PR allows you to show that. If you consider two candidates are equal then neither PR or AV allow you to express that (AV will only kick in and consider your "no 2" vote if there is no clear majority).

Just seems really messy to me....

G
 

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Graham, you ate missing the point, probably deliberately. If you only vote for one person and that person is knocked out then you have no carry over - or you have no say in any further round. As they saying goes, someone will always win in the end so not putting at least a second choice is akin to a spoiled ballot paper in that sense. Of course, you have to be genuinely ok with that second choice, but many people are which is why you see the annoyingly wasteful tactical voting to try and keep X out, rather than vote for genuine preferences. With AV you can do both and hence we get a once in a generation opportunity to let the voting system reflect the voting habits of the population instead of constraining them.
It has been reported that around 40 years ago FPTP returned 80-90% of seats with a majority. Today that is 30-40%, hence from just that data we can see that FPTP is no longer fit for purpose.
 

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MIFLEX DIR = "Did It Rupture"??
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Graham, you ate missing the point, probably deliberately. If you only vote for one person and that person is knocked out then you have no carry over - or you have no say in any further round. As they saying goes, someone will always win in the end so not putting at least a second choice is akin to a spoiled ballot paper in that sense. Of course, you have to be genuinely ok with that second choice, but many people are which is why you see the annoyingly wasteful tactical voting to try and keep X out, rather than vote for genuine preferences. With AV you can do both and hence we get a once in a generation opportunity to let the voting system reflect the voting habits of the population instead of constraining them.
It has been reported that around 40 years ago FPTP returned 80-90% of seats with a majority. Today that is 30-40%, hence from just that data we can see that FPTP is no longer fit for purpose.
Yes, I agree, but do you really think that with the voter apathy that we also have today, people will genuinely know, or care?

In the constituency I live in there are only two candidates I know of (there are more, but I am not aware of them or their policies - lets just call them "Fringe"). I will vote for one and do not want to see the other elected. If the election was under AV, I would only mark the once....do you really think that everyone will realise this and vote in the same way (assuming their views are the same) or, as I beleive, will mark their candidate first, the other candidate "Second" not realising that they may have helped to return that candidate in the event of no clear majority when their intentions were the opposite?

I can't see how tactical voting will change. In certain strongholds where there is a clear majority under PR tactical voting is used to bolster the next likely candidates chances. Under AV the initial candidate will still achieve the majority with no need to consider second preferences and so the second preference will not even come into the equation and tactical voting would still be encouraged to upset the initial, expected result.

Or should I go back to sticking a pin in the ballot paper???

G
 

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No social integrator
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....do you really think that everyone will realise this and vote in the same way (assuming their views are the same) or, as I beleive, will mark their candidate first, the other candidate "Second" not realising that they may have helped to return that candidate in the event of no clear majority when their intentions were the opposite?
This is basically the "voters are too thick to understand the system" argument, which strikes me as rather patronising.

It really is very simple - vote for the candidates you don't mind seeing elected, in order of preference. Don't vote for anybody else.

That's it.
 

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MIFLEX DIR = "Did It Rupture"??
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If it seems patronising, it's because it is. But then consider that a vast number of voters also think Jeremy Kyle is decent "Must Watch" TV!

If you are going to have a system that will potentially return candidates that the voter had no intention of returning, you had better make that very clear to them on the ballot paper. Unfortunately, I don't think that this will be the case or if it is, that it will be read/understood.

G
 

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Devout Sceptic
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I just been and voted.

Being a dinosaur I voted NO for AV because I can't honestly see the point ( I fully understand it) or the benefit.
TBH I really struggle to find anyone worthy of my vote in General Elections nowadays and have spoiled my ballot paper more than once. I really, really don't need to be looking for 1st and 2nd choices.

I had six candidates to chose from in the council elections. 3 Lab and 3 Con. I despise national party political agendas getting in the way of local affairs.
The local rag always has "letters" from councillors explaining why the labour/conservative/libdem group can't be trusted. The actual issue seems secondary to their purpose.
Councillors need to be free to think for themselves so, as always when there isn't any worthy independent candidate, I spoiled my paper with the words "none of the above" .

Your's Sincerely,

Mr. Politically Disillusioned
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
In the constituency I live in there are only two candidates I know of (there are more, but I am not aware of them or their policies - lets just call them "Fringe"). I will vote for one and do not want to see the other elected. If the election was under AV, I would only mark the once....do you really think that everyone will realise this and vote in the same way (assuming their views are the same) or, as I beleive, will mark their candidate first, the other candidate "Second" not realising that they may have helped to return that candidate in the event of no clear majority when their intentions were the opposite?
So, if your candidate is marked first, but eliminated, and you have to have someone, who do you want?

If you have only 2 candidates likely to get votes, and the rest are "fringe" as you put it, then it's highly likely that those 2 will be the 2 with the most votes, so if you voted for one of them it won't ever matter what you put as your 2nd choice as it doesn't count.

Where AV starts to have an effect is if there are 3 or more candidates getting a significant number of votes, then there's a chance that 2nd preferences will come into play.
 

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As I understand it, the pros/cons are:

FPTP Pros:
The candidate with the most votes always wins.
Nothing needs to change.
Even really, really, really dim people can understand it.
Higher chance of overall parliamentary majorities.

FPTP Cons:
Nothing will change.
Where the "anti" vote is split, a candidate wins that very few people voted for, or wanted. This encourages tactical voting.

AV Pros:
Discourages tactical voting. It is still possible, but it's much more complicated to figure out how to do it.
MPs elected with a majority of voters having actually voted for them.
Fringe parties with narrow support (e.g. the BNP) are screwed. On the other hand fringe parties with broad support (e.g. Greens) do better.

AV Cons:
It is very, very, very slightly teeny tiny bit complex than FPTP.
It's not PR. It will not produce a number of MPs proportional to their parties' actual support.
Nick Clegg supports it :rolleyes:
 

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But then consider that a vast number of voters also think Jeremy Kyle is decent "Must Watch" TV!
X-factor is decided by a form of AV. The voters don't have a problem with that.

Also, all the major parties use AV to decide their leaders. If it's good enough for them...
 
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Losing the Will...
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Does anyone really think that either of these, or any other system, will raise the standard of politics in this country? We still get stuck with mainly ex-Oxbridge political students, with little or no concept of the real world, running the place. More Ministers from a military or industrial background are needed.
 

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Devout Sceptic
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The single biggest issue with national politics is that the main parties (ie, the ones fit for government) have so little real political space between them now.
If there was a worth 1st choice there would be no need for 2nd or 3rd choices.

They are all the same. Those that aren't huddled in the sopping wet middle ground are essentially on the lunatic fringe.

Things were so simple when it was Maggie v an endless stream of leftie whacko's :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Does anyone really think that either of these, or any other system, will raise the standard of politics in this country? We still get stuck with mainly ex-Oxbridge political students, with little or no concept of the real world, running the place. More Ministers from a military or industrial background are needed.
With AV, if someone like that stands in your constituency you can vote for them without being worried the vote will be wasted on a "fringe" candidate. If enough people think the way you do, they might win.
 

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As I understand it, the pros/cons are:

FPTP Pros:
The candidate with the most votes always wins.
Nothing needs to change.
Even really, really, really dim people can understand it.
Higher chance of overall parliamentary majorities.

FPTP Cons:
Nothing will change.
Where the "anti" vote is split, a candidate wins that very few people voted for, or wanted. This encourages tactical voting.

AV Pros:
Discourages tactical voting. It is still possible, but it's much more complicated to figure out how to do it.
MPs elected with a majority of voters having actually voted for them.
Fringe parties with narrow support (e.g. the BNP) are screwed. On the other hand fringe parties with broad support (e.g. Greens) do better.
David Cameron is against it

AV Cons:
It is very, very, very slightly teeny tiny bit complex than FPTP.
It's not PR. It will not produce a number of MPs proportional to their parties' actual support.
Nick Clegg supports it :rolleyes:
Just including a major plus point ;)
 

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The MD is still at work as presiding officer at a polling station.

At last count (and they've had the tea time rush) she'd seen less than 100 of her 600 odd registered voters for her small polling station.

Maybe it's just that particular spot (which she hasn't done before) which is quiet. Maybe it reflects a poor turnout nationally?
 
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