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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Yes or No? Help! I don't know

My poor little brain is pickled. We have an important decision to make this week, and I've been trying to get to grips with FPTP v AV. I've read the book sent by The Electoral Commission, riveting stuff, ha ha, and I've been on the website and watched Victor the Voter explain how both systems work. I've read forums to find out what other people think about it, and I'm still non the wiser.

Alternative Voting sounds very complicated, it's going to take ages to count the votes if we move over to that system, and it looks like a lot of mistakes could be made and a lot of recounts will be needed. First Past the Post is simple enough, the person with the most votes wins.

I'm in two minds what to vote for, YES or NO. Is it a case of 'Better the devil you know', or, Let's have a stab at a new system and see what happens'. Oh dear, I'll go to bed and think about it, still got a few more days to decide. Help, somebody please tell me what to do! Goodnight


  1. Too long, expensive and complicated - I'm going to vote to stick with existing.

    Went to ASDA tonight & was paying for (not too) reduced bread, the girl at the counter said it never occurred to her to buy it and freeze it. She said her mother did. I gave her a bit of a 'lecture' about how she could save so much being actually there at ASDA when they reduced lots of things and what she would be able to do with the money saved.

    She wouldn't be earning so much money, so why would it not occur to her to buy reduced?

  2. I don't know either, but my gut feeling is that AV is a blind alley. I think I'll vote "no", even if it galls to agree with Tories...

  3. I'll be voting FPTP. I want my candidate to win, not my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 96th choice.

    I don't like hung parliaments and coalitions and I think we'll get more if AV is adopted. Unfortunately I have to agree with Dave on this one..

  4. AV all the way! It's not even very proportional, but it's better than FPTP. David Cameron was elected as party leader under AV, so I'm not really sure where his motivation for the NO campaign comes from. Basically AV succeeds in having the most people the most pleased they can be rather than a small majority pleased while vast collection of minorities are unhappy with a result. It's pretty utilitarian. And what's the worst that can happen? We can always change back if we hate it, but we'll never know unless we try.

  5. It seems to me that the whole point of a vote is to appoint someone to represent the voter - a particular person that is, who the voter thinks will best represent them. The person who gets the most votes wins - simple.

    I don't want a system that forces me to vote for others who I do not wish to represent me by indicating 2nd, 3rd choice etc.

    A firm NO to AV from me.

  6. You can use AV tactically if you wish, also NOT putting those you'd definitely not want down atall. Or just vote for who you want, and (as we can do in Wales) vote for the same party on your next vote. Certainly works here. However, for a laugh and learn....

  7. If the last elections of Party leaders had NOT been under AV then David Davis would now lead the Torys and David Miliband Labour as they were both 'first past the post'.
    AV at the general election imho could likely land us with a mix of the Greens and the Moster Raving LOONY Party. Of course that might well suit you admirably Ilona - until they took your car away :O)

  8. Ironically. this referendum on so called "Fairer Votes" will be settled by -----FPTP !
    If, say, only 20% of the electorate can be bothered to vote, and half of them vote "Yes", we would be lumbered with a system that is wanted by only 10% of the electorate. (if I've got my sums right !)

  9. First Past The Post, or more correctly "Furthest" Past The Post, would be the ideal system if everyone voted. The result would be more representative. Rather than muck about with complicated and expensive to implement electoral half-solutions, like AV, we should adopt something like the Australian model and make voting compulsory.
    Everybody would vote for the candidate they wanted to win, but if they didn't like any of them they could put a cross in the box marked "I vote for NONE of the candidates".

    Until then, I reckon we should stick with what we've got and avoid wasting a boat load of public money on AV. It's a half-baked system and the money we'd spend putting it in place could be better spent on education and the health service.

  10. we wanted something new when the Tory/Lib Dems came into look how badly they are treating students, disabled and the elderly and families on one wage. Something new and differnent isn't always better. Like you I have no idea how to vote. I sometimes think they make things so complex so no one will understand!

  11. Brian has the right idea:-)

  12. Brian: you wouldn't *have* to vote for more than one candidate. You could vote for just your first choice and leave it at that. AV would just give you the option to vote for someone else if your first choice wasn't elected -- it's not mandatory to vote for other people.

    I'm strongly Yes to AV. Every year, I have to pick between voting as I want to and tactically voting for a bad option in order to keep out a worse one. If the bad option wins, it isn't the one I want to represent me, it's just the one I think has a chance of being elected. It's not the same thing at all.

    FTFP works best in - and helps create/maintain - two party systems. As Kate says, AV leaves the most people generally satisfied rather than a potentially small minority happy while the rest, who voted for their potentially disparate true choices, unsatisfied.

  13. if the switch to AV happens, I may actually get to see my MP and/or Local Councillor and their opponents, as they will have to work a little bit harder to get not just the first vote, but also the second and third vote too. I have lived in this house for 9 years and never seen my representatives! How bad is that??

  14. Thanks for your opinions, I really appreciate them. I'm leaning towards a No, but I could change my mind.

  15. I know it's a bit late in the day now, but this depressing misunderstanding of the AV alternative shows why it was never going to be chosen. Poor effort on the part of the Yes campaign.

    I still don't know how we got to the point where we were offered the choice of a system generally disliked (FPTP) versus and alternative no one wants (AV).

    Methinks Dave had more that a little to do with that.


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