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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Yes to AV

I was going to try and write a well reasoned and passionate argument about why I am going to vote Yes to AV, but you know, boring and that, so instead I am going to try and present my argument in pictorial form courtesy of the wonderful people at ( I can't claim that any ideas presented here are my own original thought)

The fact is, I currently have an MP I didn't vote for and in all likelihood so do you. Under the current system almost all MPs are currently elected with a minority share of the vote. 

Even more infuriating is the NO campaign constantly drawing comparisons to sports or horse racing - I would just like to point out THIS ISN'T A RACE, this is a way of selecting people who will represent your opinions in parliament. The positions shouldn't go to the person with the least weak claim, it should go to the candidate that the MAJORITY of voter's support.

This is a real problem, if you support the Green party but live in a labour stronghold what do you do? Throw your vote away on Green? or vote Conservative because you dislike them less than Labour and it is the only chance you have to get Labour out? What about your support for the Greens? don't you have a right to express that? Its probably not going to get them in but at least it might send a message about voter opinions to whomever does win

The NO campaign is in a tough position, to defend FPTP is to defend the current political system, a system that over the last few years has been discredited and exposed and dishonest and corrupt, the general public hates politics and politicians even more. So what do they do? The only option is to attack AV, spread lies and half truths, to muddy the water and resort to scaremongering.  

One piece of misinformation is the fact that the NO campaign likes to point out that only three countries currently use AV, that much is true, but the implied message is that the entire rest of the world uses first past the post - that is absolutely incorrect. There are dozens of different  voting systems used all over the world: Instant run-off voting, Borda count, Condorcet method, Plurality voting, Approval voting, cumulative voting, weighted voting, supermajority, unanimous consent, Sainte-LaguĂ« method, d'Hondt method  highest averages methods, largest remainder methods, Mixed Member Proportional , Single Transferable Vote. You get the idea, to suggest that low incidence of AV indicates the superiority of FPTP is absurd.

 The worst lie is that AV is complicated. It's not. It's how the voting on X-factor works - I can't even expand on this point, the picture above says it all.

 The AV campaign isn't about party politics, or at least it shouldn't be, but this picture made me smile

This final picture kind of undermines my whole argument but I had to include it because it is brilliant. 

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