Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Vote early, vote often

It's local elections day tomorrow, and the referendum on whether to replace first-past-the-post to Alternative Vote. I'm voting Labour in the absence of any socialist party, and Yes to AV as a minor improvement on FPTP. Here's why:


Adam said...

I thought it was interesting that the Oscars now use AV in their "Best Picture" category, as they realised that, under the First Past the Post system, with 10 nominees it was possible for a film to win with just 11% of total votes. If they're that worried about representative voting for films, then we should definitely be looking again at our own broken voting system, and this will be the only chance we get to fix it. Ever.

I'll be voting Yes. It may not be full PR, but then again PR would sever the constituency link.

The Plashing Vole said...

I tend to agree. Though the Irish additional member system retains a constituency link: each constituency returns several representatives based on the percentage for the party and the personal vote for each candidate. The calculation is how many candidates your party puts up: too few and you miss out on seats, too many and you split your party's vote. It can get vicious.

Ewarwoowar said...

A) I hate that picture. You may as well put up a picture of Kermit, or something equally irrelevant.

B) I'll be voting No, but I'm spectacularly nonplussed about it all. It doesn't change a great deal.

C) Absolutely no to PR, UNLESS you could retain the constituency link. Is AMS too complex though? I remember when I was at college studying Politics, we all struggled to get our heads around that one. But that was studying the machinations of it, rather than "vote here you twats".

D) Byeee!

Tim said...

I have thought a lot about the comment you put on my blog in support of AV. Indeed I have puzzled at what you said; you seemed to claim that if no one candidate got 50% then all the other voters' second preferences were counted. Well, you maybe right, but in all the years I have taught AV to A level students I understood that the ONLY the lowest candidates had their votes redistributed, and this carried on until someone reached 50%. So it could be that the Monster Raving voters could decide the outcome (or more sinisterly, if that is a word, the BNP). I am still voting NO - but you have made me think.

The Plashing Vole said...

In a sense Tim, we're both right: in a second round, the first votes of the remaining candidates still count, while the loser's second preferences are added.

I can see the point that the nutters' votes seem more important, but there are two answers to that:

1. There won't be many of them - usually a few hundred. By the time the 6th, 5th, 4th etc. candidates' voters' preferences are added, the loon vote will be dissolved.

2. In a democracy, even nutters' opinions matter.

I don't think it's a good system. I just think it's better than the one we have.

Tim said...

I am sorry to say that I was not convinced by your argument and I voted NO: but Labour Labour in the Welsh election today. Anyway, I dont know if your ears were burning earlier,but I quoted you in my politics class. We had a great debate.

The Plashing Vole said...

Ah well… Glad Labour did well in Wales, though I have a soft spot for Plaid.

I'd love to teach politics. My chance to form a cadre…