Friday, 11 February 2011

Reasons to vote no

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 


  1. 1) You can vote under AV precisely the same as you do under FPTP. So there is FPTP's advantage undermined.

    2) Even under your "DB" system, everyone votes the same amount of times.

    3) FPTP assumes everyones first preference is equal to everyone elses. Voting systems where you can only say "I endorse" or not mean you can't make assumptions about how much each vote "counts"

    4) A problem that is also the situation with FPTP, and at least under AV more opinions are taken in to account to provide a more balanced representation of popularity.

    5) 50% of voters, if we're being as pedantic as you, is true. If someone gets 50% of the vote exactly under FPTP we say 50% of the total votes, even though there are likely to be spoiled ballots. We don't count spoiled ballots.

    AV is a whole process, you choose your preferences, if you decide not to put preferences and the final round is between two people you've not preferenced, then the result is you making an active choice to spoil your ballot in that situation. Much more informative than the system we have right now, and means that 50% in the final round is also 50% of votes cast as they're defined by our current system.

    But this is a largely pedantic point in either direction.

    6) AV isn't a proportional system, some years it'll give more proportional results than FPTP would give, sometimes less. It depends entirely on voter politics and geographic dispersion. If you support PR then you have to realise your views on PR are irrelevant to the AV vs FPTP debate.

    7) Not provably so, though if anyone wants to show me how they've pre-guessed the boundary changes, and 4 more years of public opinion change, along with the local factors of previously popular MPs retiring and changes in levels of calculate that AV will give us a coalition next election (let alone other elections after that) please do tell me!

    8) Well this is just wishy washy nonsense anyway, because it's not like there's a whole bunch of swing voters that politicians don't want to offend right now either. Remember "We have no plans to raise VAT" weasel wording. The difference is that under AV that MP knows exactly what type of policy the electorate is favouring, tax and spend or cuts, and can vote more representatively of their voters.

    I'll give you a D-, must try harder I feel.

  2. 1. Yes people can do that, but they will be disadvataged because most will vote the AV way.

    2. No, quite clearly only the eliminated get to vote again the DB way, i should know, I came up with it.

    3. This is true, FPTP assumes everyone's endorsement is their endorsement. So there is a margin of error there. Now compound this by taking away candidates and asking them to do it again...and again and each round gets worse for accuracy.

    4)More opinions are taken into account..from the same 35% of people, which slants the result more than if you only asked everyone for one opinion.

    5)Its not perdantic. Just because someone didn't pick one of two candidates from a starting line of 8-12 ish, doesn't mean they don't count as voters.
    If the only way to get a high percentage is to eliminate people so they are no longer voters, how does that make it better?

    6)I agree, PR is not involved here, though 1/4 is not good odds and it would be niave to suggest different electoral systems can not favour PR without being PR.

    7) Obviously you cannot prove something which hasn't happened yet, so you're asking the impossible. However we can predict. Any system which is said to encourage more people to stand for election will from time to time elect those people. (otherwise they wouldn't stand). In which case the big two's MP count goes down...coalitions.

    8)I am not saying all policies are enacted under fptp, but atleast you know their rough policies. Under AV you will not even know that.

    Lee, Coming from you, I would know something was wrong if you gave me anything better. You're my reverse compass! ;)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Lee, do keep things civilised. If you want to disagree with me, you are more than welcome to do so. I wouldn't put my thoughts out into the world if I didn't want them challenged, but I will not put up with posts that call me stupid because I don't agree with you.

    I would also appreciate if you want to claim I am changing my story that you provide evidence for this. I wouldn't want anyone easily swayed to read an unjustified comment like that and be influenced by an untruth. If you want to post again you can do, just tone down the childishness and the aggression.

  5. It's alright, I think e see your true colours. I removed your comment from my blog because it was repetition of the same point and I felt the discussion had run it's course. You delete my comment because it's too challenging of your world view. Played sir ;)

  6. BTW, for your information, there's an edit button so you can remove the things you feel are childish, without then mysteriously removing all the other points that counter your fallacies and inconsistencies. Just saying!

  7. I hadn't even noticed you had deleted my comments. That said it doesn't surprise me. I do not have any problem you disagreeing or saying how you think my points are incorrect.

    I do require 1) you tell me WHY you think i am wrong (not just you're wrong) 2)If you want to accuse me of changing my story, point to where I have, not make up stuff which I haven't ever said to try to discredit what I have always said. Not on.

    I will not spend my time picking through your insults and lies to try and find an argument relevant to the post. You shouldn't post nonsense and then expect people to edit it.

  8. Oh, it wasn't you! It was someone else that was quite similar in their inability to grasp key concepts. So I didn't delete any of your comments, but you have deleted mine because they got a little too close to home for you. Poor form sir, poor form ;)

  9. No, Like you have admitted on your post about me (honoured btw) you can often be childish and insulting. You were, and were removed.

    Interesting to note though, me changing my story is actually two different people having a different view but deciding to vote no to AV.

    I disagree with many people and agree with many people, not all black and white AV/FPTP.

    Just like some people will tell you that AV will lead to a more representative government and others argue that it will not creat coalitions (both from Yes2av). While inconsistent, i wouldn't think for one second of accusing any ONE person of changing stories!

    Again, to conclude someone is a moron because they do not see subjective opinions the same as you reflects more on your closed mind than my intelligence.