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Referendum

edited April 2011 in Not Sports Related
With the referendum fast approaching, I would be interested to know everyones views on the subject. Would AV be the way forward?
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Comments

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    sorry - i'm a bit thick - what is the referendum on?
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    Whether we as a country should adopt the alternative voting system for general elections.
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    will we be able to do it with our remote?
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    I expect there will be a very low turnout for this one. It's difficult to get people excited about it, yet it is important.

    I'll be voting "no". The current system almost always produces strong government, although it failed to do that last time.
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    If possible, could someone please, (& seriously) explain the pros & cons of both arguements ?
    I'm still undecided, as are afew people I've spoken to.
    Thank you.
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    I can't see the point in going to AV, as I understand it. It is not proportional representation, it's just a different method of counting votes. It's more complicated, will take longer and probably produce more or less the same result.
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    My view is simple. (not surprising)

    Current system - simplistic example.

    Candidate A gets. 100 votes
    Candidate B gets. 100 votes
    Candidate C gets. 101 votes and wins election

    Candidate C is elected yet twice as many people voted against him as voted for him. Is that democratic and fair ?
    I think not. Without going into the detail of AV the difference to the above would be that by also voting for your second and third choice candidates the eventual winner would at least command 51% of the votes cast. Is it fairer ? In my view yes but I can see why it's not a very sexy referendum.
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    edited April 2011
    Disagree SHG. If you win the League by 1 point, you should be crowned Champion. I don't think you should come 3rd and win The League, which is possible, although not necessarily probable under the AV.

    Let's say :-

    Labour 40%
    Tory 35%
    Lib Dem 25%

    As it is Labour win. Under AV Lib Dems could go on to win. I wonder why Lib Dems favour AV ;-)
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    Ok another example -

    Tory 100
    Lab 99
    Lib 50

    Then when they redistribute the Labour votes, 80 of them have voted for Lib as second choice and none for Tory. So Libs get in, even though they only got 50 1st choices. Is that fair?

    I personally would not make a second or third choice, or if I did it certainly wouldn't be one of the other main parties.
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    What is the resident politico's view on this...... eh! Airman.

    Frankly if that 'git' Conway can step down and the 'tory boy' get in with an 'increased' is this going to help us!......

    Your thought's please!......
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    I dont like the idea of someones third choice having the same meaning as my first choice (or vice versa)

    in my opinion av devalues the voting system and will make voting even more tactical than it already is...

    It is more likely to lead to weaker governments aswell
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    A halfway house between FPTP and PR.

    Surely nobody will be content with AV? Those advocating a switch to PR will surely be concerned that supporting this reform will stifle rather than galvanise cries for more far-reaching reform and those in favour of FPTP will resist any reform.

    The fact that only Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea actually use AV should tell us something!
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    [cite]Posted By: ISawLeaburnScore[/cite]A halfway house between FPTP and PR.

    Surely nobody will be content with AV? Those advocating a switch to PR will surely be concerned that supporting this reform will stifle rather than galvanise cries for more far-reaching reform and those in favour of FPTP will resist any reform.

    The fact that only Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea actually use AV should tell us something!

    All good points but in reality would we be allowed to leap from FPTP to PR in one?

    If you feel FPTP is inherently undemocratic then, in my opinion, you vote AV in the hope that it provides a stepping stone to PR eventually which is the most democratic system.
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    I have voted by post in favour of the change. There are a number of bogus arguments being made by the NO campaign about cost, in which they count the cost of the referendum (which will be there regardless of the outcome), voting or counting machines (not needed) and how complicated AV is, which is true only if you have trouble counting up to ten.

    No voting system is perfect. I think AV is marginally better than FPTP, because it allows more people's views to carry weight. FPTP was fine when politics was Tory v Liberal or Labour v Tory. However, society is more splintered now and the system we have doesn't reflect that.

    In the 2009 East Wickham byelection there was a four party split - from recollection the Tories got about 28%, the BNP 27%, Labour 24% and the LDs 18%. The BNP lost by seven votes, but it's doubtful if many of those who voted Labour or LD would have preferred that the BNP had beaten the Tory. In fact, even the Tory voters would have been likely to favour Labour or the LDs over the BNP. So how fair would a BNP win under FPTP have been?

    On the other hand, Tory boy would have won regardless of AV in Old Bexley and Sidcup last year, because he got 54% of the vote.

    The fundamental point to me is the link between the constituency and the voter, which is where pure PR falls down. Few people could tell you who their MEPs are. The best compromise is probably the one used for the GLA, where you get a constituency member and a top-up for parties like the Greens - yes, and the BNP - to reflect their overall vote.

    Strong government comes as the expense of representative government - neither Thatcher nor Blair got anywhere near 50 per cent of the vote. You have to reach a compromise between the two.
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    nothing wrong with what we currently do so i dont want to change it and if ed milliband or labur say its a good idea then it cant be so i wont do it
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    [cite]Posted By: Miserableold-ishgit[/cite]If possible, could someone please, (& seriously) explain the pros & cons of both arguements ?
    I'm still undecided, as are afew people I've spoken to.
    Thank you.

    First Past The Post (FPTP):

    Pros: Unambiguous result in that most votes means you win the seat. With few exceptions (eg May 2010) provides a majority Government which can be strong and decisive (within EU parameters as things stand). Easy to understand. Has been our system for many years and worked well for much of that time.

    Cons: Possible to win a seat when more people have voted against rather than for you which frequently happens. Therefore a strong Government can be unrepresentative and effectively an elective dictatorship. Encourages a two party system which effectively disenfranchises huge swathes of people who either vote for "the least worst" option or don't bother to vote at all. EG a Tory in Tower Hamlets or a Socialist in Tunbridge Wells. Smaller parties have little chance of progressing because the "two party structure" encourages a "wasted vote" mentality.

    Alternative Vote (AV):

    Pros: Is a step towards more democratic representation in that one can vote for a smaller party and either simply stop there or vote for "the least worst" option (s) as second and subsequent choices. People will potentially feel more enfranchised than many do under FPTP. In theory politicians will pay more attention to the wishes of the people (within the limitations of the Elephant In The Room the EU) rather than Party dogma and vested interests as it is easier to vote elsewhere.

    Cons: AV can still give undemocratic results, as shown above, wheeling and dealing could lead to weak indecisive government and the worst of all worlds to perpetuate fragile coalitions.

    I've tried to be as fair and objective as possible in my assessment above.

    However my personal view is that FPTP has become undemocratic and AV, whilst by no means perfect, is at least a stepping stone towards more democratic representation.
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    [cite]Posted By: Airman Brown[/cite]I have voted by post in favour of the change. There are a number of bogus arguments being made by the NO campaign about cost, in which they count the cost of the referendum (which will be there regardless of the outcome), voting or counting machines (not needed) and how complicated AV is, which is true only if you have trouble counting up to ten.

    No voting system is perfect. I think AV is marginally better than FPTP, because it allows more people's views to carry weight. FPTP was fine when politics was Tory v Liberal or Labour v Tory. However, society is more splintered now and the system we have doesn't reflect that.

    In the 2009 East Wickham byelection there was a four party split - from recollection the Tories got about 28%, the BNP 27%, Labour 24% and the LDs 18%. The BNP lost by seven votes, but it's doubtful if many of those who voted Labour or LD would have preferred that the BNP had beaten the Tory. In fact, even the Tory voters would have been likely to favour Labour or the LDs over the BNP. So how fair would a BNP win under FPTP have been?

    On the other hand, Tory boy would have won regardless of AV in Old Bexley and Sidcup last year, because he got 54% of the vote.

    The fundamental point to me is the link between the constituency and the voter, which is where pure PR falls down. Few people could tell you who their MEPs are.
    The best compromise is probably the one used for the GLA, where you get a constituency member and a top-up for parties like the Greens - yes, and the BNP - to reflect their overall vote.

    Strong government comes as the expense of representative government - neither Thatcher nor Blair got anywhere near 50 per cent of the vote. You have to reach a compromise between the two.

    Is that not because of closed party lists rather than PR?
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    [cite]Posted By: LenGlover[/cite]

    Is that not because of closed party lists rather than PR?

    Partly, maybe, but also the sheer size of the constituencies needed to get a proportional result.
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    [cite]Posted By: nth london addick[/cite]nothing wrong with what we currently do so i dont want to change it and if ed milliband or labur say its a good idea then it cant be so i wont do it

    I have to say I feel even more inclined to vote for change because David Cameron wants it to remain as it is.
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    [cite]Posted By: nth london addick[/cite]nothing wrong with what we currently do so i dont want to change it and if ed milliband or labur say its a good idea then it cant be so i wont do it

    There are people of all parties for and against this - it's not a party political issue - ed milliband may be for it, but that does not mean the labour party as a whole is supporting it.

    Famously, david cameron joined labour's john reid at a "no" campaign rally, for example.
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    [cite]Posted By: Covered End[/cite]Disagree SHG. If you win the League by 1 point, you should be crowned Champion. I don't think you should come 3rd and win The League,

    That sums up one of the main problems with the current system for me. It makes politics into an all or nothing game rather than a way of accurately reflecting the views of the nation.

    [cite]Posted By: Airman Brown[/cite]Strong government comes as the expense of representative government

    I've never been convinced about the value of 'strong' government. Less government would be nice if there's a system that delivers that.

    On the whole I think political views are more nuanced these days and AV is a better reflection of that
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    edited April 2011
    I can't wait for this one , i always thought HDMI was much better than AV though.
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    [quote][cite]Posted By: LawrieAbrahams[/cite]Ok another example -

    Tory 100
    Lab 99
    Lib 50

    Then when they redistribute the Labour votes, 80 of them have voted for Lib as second choice and none for Tory. So Libs get in, even though they only got 50 1st choices. Is that fair?

    I personally would not make a second or third choice, or if I did it certainly wouldn't be one of the other main parties.[/quote]

    This isn't quite right. In this example, assuming these are the only three parties, as Lib came third they will be taken out, and only the second choice of the people who voted Lib are taken into account. If more voted Lab than Tory as the second choice, Lab would get in. Unless there are lots of parties and the vote is fairly split, the chances of the party comng third after the first choices are taken into account are very slim.

    What confuses me is this - if you vote for a party that comes, say, fifth, and they get knocked out, and your second vote is for a party that is already out - say, they came sixth, would the rest of your choices be ruled out, or would they take your third choice, which is say the most popular party?

    I'm voting yes, because its marginally more representative, but in practice I doubt there will be much difference. I must say though that the No campaign is horiffic and treats everyone like they are complete idiots - The Conservatives. Vote For Change. Unless we tell you otherwise!
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    No AV for me
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    Ed milliband looks like one of the muppets no way can you take him seriously. Ain't john Reid something to do with Celtic, if it is him then I just won't vote can't stick milliband or Celtic
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    Thank you , seriously, for trying to explain to a "thicko" like Me.
    Still undecided though....will probably vote for the one the bnp don't want: Any idea what they say ?
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    If you vote Tory vote No
    If you vote Lab/ Lib Dem vote Yes.
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    [cite]Posted By: RodneyCharltonTrotta[/cite]If you vote Tory vote No
    If you vote Lab/ Lib Dem vote Yes.

    And what about Monster Raving Loony voters ? ;0)
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