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 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 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?

No comments:

Post a Comment