Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Voter Index and its use by Yes2av

Just a short post tonight. I will be making a video or presentation with this subject so feel a quick explanation will suffice.

Yesterday evening I was looking through an unofficial Yes2AV facebook page and came across a critique of the "One Person, One vote" No2av campaign.

This, obviously, should be expected..but what struck me is HOW they were attacking it...
then this
"So, No2AV think that FPTP means one man one vote. Let's make our own video to show them exactly what one man one vote means under FPTP. Use http://www.voterpower.org.uk/ to find out how much your vote is actually worth. Write it on a piece of paper and record yourself for a minute. Send all the footage to mevanbabakar@gmail.com. Like this post if you'll take part!"
..was posted

I tried explaining at the time that this is a bit of an own goal, the voter power index is not designed with AV in mind and would not look favourably on it.
What did I get for my trouble? A quick "Oh yeah..whoops" perhaps? "Thank you" ?

Nope, got banned!

So, here we go. Here is the ready made reply to the video they haven't even made yet.

Please keep in mind that AV's whole principle is 50+% good, -50% bad.

Here is the list of the BEST constituencies according to the voter index.

The format is constituency, followed by supposed vote worth and then the amount of total vote the winning MP received.

1.Arfon                                    1.308  votes 33.88%
2.Ceredigion                           1.220 votes 36.52%
3.Clwyd West                         1.217 votes 36.12%
4.Belfast South                       1.077 votes 30.15%
5.Wirral West                         1.053 votes 41.77%
6.Preseli Pembrokeshire       1.036 votes 36.38%
7.Sittingbourne & Sheppey    1.032 votes 41.72%
8.Na H-eileanan An Iar           1.031 votes 44.90%
9.Aberconwy                           1.018 votes 33.00%
10.Edinburgh South                1.013 votes 33.23%

Notice something a bit weird there?
Gets better...

Same thing, his time with the WORST constituencies..

650.Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough     0.002 votes  69.59%
649.Knowsley                                                  0.002 votes 71.8%
648.Easington                                                   0.002 votes 71.29%
647.Barnsley East                                            0.002 votes 70.97%
646.Washington & Sunderland West             0.003 votes  68.79%
645.Liverpool Walton                                     0.003 votes 71.75%
644.Bootle                                                        0.003 votes  71.05%
643.Normanton, Pontefract & Castleford     0.004 votes  65.34%
642.Islwyn                                                        0.004 votes  64.35%
641.Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill           0.004 votes  64.48%

The average is 0.253 if anyone wanted to know.

So according to the VoterIndex site, the WORST place is where 72/100 people voted for their MP...and the best is where 66/100 voted against their MP...

Hopefully they'll realise this themselves...that if they are campaigning for 'a majority' to vote for their MP, the voter index is not their friend..and using it to berate FPTP when it is going to rank AV lower, is down right mental.

But hey..video to come.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

DB Voting

A new voting system.

I have had an idea chaps and chappesses.
It's a brand new voting system.
Much like Jenkins before me, it is a modified version of a previous system, in this case FPTP.
It's called FPTP + or DB Voting.

This is how it works, due to all the data being collected, it is going to be down in one round.


Each voter writes a number on as many of their ballot papers as they want to, only using the same number once and numbering consecutively.

The Count

Every ballot with a 'one' on is put into piles depending on what candidate's name is on the ballot.
If a candidate gets more than half the number of ballots, they win, if not the candidate with the least votes is eliminated. Any one that used their first vote on the eliminated candidate, gets another vote and if they have written a number two on any of the other ballots, that is added to any non-eliminated candidate.

If at this stage a candidate has more than half of all ballots used excluding the eliminated candidate's votes, they win. If not we continue the process. We eliminate the candidate with the next lowest amount of votes and their voters get to use their next vote..and so on and so forth.

The votes that the eliminated candidate receive before being eliminated are kept with the candidate so they can see how many votes they got.

Now obviously, this seems like a bit of a messed up system doesn't it..some people having more votes than others. Some people getting to use more of their ballots than others.

Say your candidate came second due to other voters sixth or seventh vote while your second vote has been completely ignored. Doesn't seem 'fairer' does it.

This is AV.

AV without the spin of 'rounds'.

If AV was buying a round of drinks, they would go and get themselves a drink, bring it back to the table, pick up everyone else's drink and put the same drink back down again and say "There you go, a whole new round for everyone"

It's a clever bit of spin, like when people compare the number of hung parliaments in the UK and Australia..while leaving out that Australia is a two party state, meaning their chances of a hung parliament would be the equivalent of flipping a coin and having it land on the edge, not heads or tails.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

How AV Manipulates a Majority for a Candidate

The latest in my series of reviews, or character assassinations as some of our #yes2av friends call them, is of the Article -

"How AV Builds a Majority for a Candidate" by Antony Green.

Apparently he does something to do with politics Down Under. Though I can only imagine he is freelance due to the amount he writes for the UK "Yes to fairer votes" campaign.

We have a few loose straw man arguments here and a few down right bizarre comments from him too, so let's get straight to it.

He starts his argument by asking:
 "If a candidate in an election heads the field with 26.3% of the vote, should they be viewed as the most popular candidate ...or should the fact nearly three quarters of voters didn't support the candidate play a part in determining the outcome?"

Just a few nit picky comments with that question, one answer is, don't know, who were the other candidates and what is there political stance compared to the other runners up?
Two is the wording, "didn't support" ...well if you don't support anyone your first preference doesn't go to, what is the point of AV exactly? "didn't vote for" is probably more accurate (even if it gives up some of its zest).

Next he talks about Wagga Wagga's politics under AV as if it were under FPTP which as we all know (all together now) "is completely irrelevant and pointless because electoral process changes political landscape".

He points out that under FPTP the anti-labor vote would have been split, allowing Labor in! Oh no!
"If this were an FPTP contest, McPherson would be elected as a successful Labor candidate in an overwhelmingly conservative electorate"

Of course he fails to mention, that this wouldn't have happened under FPTP because the "conservative" party didn't fragment until after AV  was brought in.
At the last FPTP election out of almost 1,900,000 votes cast only 35000 (or less than 1.9% of the vote) was for anyone put the two "conservative" or labor parties.

No chance of vote splitting there.

Moving on,

Under FPTP, other candidates in the count would have set about urging voters to vote tactically.

Well, like we have discussed, no, there would still be two parties..as there is now under AV, they would just be FPTP parties instead of AV coalition parties.

...but he has got a point..wouldn't it be awful to have politicians trying to influence voters on how to vote by telling them..


He then goes on to talk about the counting process, using very unique to Australia politics etc blah blah blah...

Low and behold we have a winner and it isn't even those pesky Labor chaps! Brilliant.
The winner with 46% of the total vote..hmm...*scrolls back to top of article*..obviously this is some new type of 'majority' I haven't heard before.

He then continues to crow about how the politics involved, which have evolved due to AV and work because of AV as were built on the rules of AV wouldn't work if the rules were changed to FPTP. This apparently is vindication of AV.

To use a topical analogy, that's like suggesting that because a Koala bear couldn't survive in the savanna of the African plains, that it must be Africa that is wrong and isn't Australia great for keeping this very Australian being going?

AV in the UK would be different. We have a three main party system. We have three main different ideologies (one of the main reasons we have three parties in the Uk is because unlike Australia's two party system, FPTP doesn't punish smaller parties, or encourage absorption to the same degree as AV).
 Yes, the Lib Dems split the Anti- Tory vote..in the same way that the Lib Dems split the anti Labour Vote... in the same way that Labour splits the anti-Tory and anti-Liberal vote etc..

You get a supporter of each of these three parties in a room and every one of them is going to be out numbered by people against their party. Should we really let the decision be made by whoever gets to speak first like AV does?...Especially if they get to speak first by having the LEAST support?