1) Fptp is the easiest, most inclusive system available. There is not one person in the UK that has trouble understanding it and therefore there is not any group of people that will be disenfranchised or cowed away from voting if they wish.
2) FPTP is one voter, one vote.
I have offered the yes campaign to critique a voting system let’s call it ‘DB Voting’
where everyone votes, and if someone doesn’t have 50% of the vote, the lowest candidate is eliminated and anyone who voted for them gets given a brand new fresh vote to add to any un-eliminated candidate.
Obviously, this is a system that gives some people more than one vote. The results compared to AV are however exactly the same. So if it produces the exact same result as some people being given an extra vote, then that should give cause for concern straight away.
3) AV counts someone’s third preference as the same value as someone’s first.
I have asked a few AV people if you had 49% of people give a 1st preference to candidate A, and Candidate B get 25% 1st preferences, 15% 2nd preferences, 11% 3rd preferences, who would they think had the most SUPPORT? They invariably say candidate B ..which I disagree with. Quality not just quantity.
4) Leading on from point three…
In the average AV context even though almost all voters will give preferences, only 35% of voters will have anything but their first preference taken into account.
If the AV supporters claim that 2nd preferences are so indicative of support, why are we ignoring a majority of the information that can help?
5)The 50% myth,
AV supporters often quote the 50% myth to push their arguments. They sometimes wrongly say 50% of the total voters, or 50% of the electorate. This is no true. What they mean is 50% of the last round of voting.
I.E. 50% of people who preference’d the two remaining candidates out of the starting 8-12 or so.
They then hold this up as an achievement, normally saying something like “see 50%...its more than 35% which a lot of MPS are elected with”.
However they are comparing two incomparable figures.
One is % of last round of votes, one is % of total votes.
So if you have 100 voters, 35% of the total vote would be 35 votes.
If only 70% of these choose to preference either of the two candidates that end up in the last round, 50% of this is 35 votes again.
6) ..this point only affects you if you favour PR, i.e. 1% of votes =1% of seats.
Out of the last 4 elections AV (according to studies) would have led to a less representative government than FPTP in three of them.
7) Coalitions will be more likely.
This point you’d imagine to be self evident. If AV encourages smaller parties and more single issue groups (which AV says it will and I agree) then the % of seats held by the bigger parties will be less.
This will lead to king makers, not just one but many. Policy will be decided in back rooms where one policy is dropped in return for support of another. The recent events with the coalition show the trouble with coalitions in a country not used to them better than I can explain.
8) Politics under FPTP can be decisive. Under AV a politician would have to hedge their bets. Will their be cuts in spending and in tax? Or will their be spending increases and tax increases? Best not to say really at AV election time as you have to remain as neutral as possible. After all, like discussed, it isn’t about how much people support you, it is about the quantity of people that will put up with you.
This to me means each election we will be guessing what the MP will be doing for the next 5 years.
off the top of my head that is about it…
comment if you have any further points or if you want to discuss one