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[BRITISH POLITICS] AV referendum 5th May

Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling merrily]Registered User regular
edited May 2011 in Singularity Engine++
This Thursday the population of Britain, at least those that can be arsed, go to the polls to say YAY or NEIGH to changing the system by which we elect our government. This is kind of a big deal. So let's conversate about it.

I'm going to say straight away that I'm in favour of switching to AV over FPTP. So this is going to sound really biased, sorry! If there is anyone who supports sticking to FPTP though, go ahead and explain why, because I genuinely would like to know if there are benefits to it that I haven't realised.


Here I will attempt to summarise what I understand about the choices. I am not a politician or a student of politics, so this will be the My First Referendum version.

Choice the 1st: First Past the Post

FPTP is the system we use currently. Everybody votes, the person with the most votes wins. Simple. And apparently because it is so simple that all the various degrees of retard in the country can explain it in one catchy sentence like I just did, that is a great reason to keep it, never mind what it actually results in. Which is when a guy gets 30% of the vote, and everyone else only gets 10% each, that guy wins. Despite 70% of the population voting against him. Simple!


Choice the 2nd: Alternate Vote

AV is the proposed new system. Instead of voting for one guy, you rank all the candidates (or however many you want to) in order of preference. Everybody's 1st choice votes are used to create a provisional result. But if nobody gets more than half the vote (like the aforementioned dude with 30%) the selection isn't over. The losing candidate is eliminated and all the people who voted for them as first choice have their ballots looked at again, distributed according to their second place choices, and added to the other candidates' piles. This process is repeated until somebody gets more than 50%.


Here is a video featuring some cats which explains what I just said, in a way that is more engaging because it features cats

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiHuiDD_oTk


We can also discuss the respective campaigns. Personally I have only seen material from the No campaign, because I live in a really conservative area. Frankly I've found it disgusting and appalling and full of lies and bullshit. So kind of like reading the Daily Mail. Does anyone here live in an area where the Yes campaign is active? What kind of stuff have they been saying?

Brovid Hasselsmof on
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Posts

  • VALVEjunkieVALVEjunkie Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    man aint you heard bogey we takin a break from politics

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    You know, Australia has preferential voting.

    And the way everything panned out the last election, I'm not so sure if I like it.

    Though to be fair that might be the fault of the candidates really.

    Before that I thought preferential voting was baller though.

  • Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling merrily] Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    man aint you heard bogey we takin a break from politics

    I haven't heard that nope. I checked the rules and hedged my bets. But this is the first thread I've made so I'd be surprised if I didn't cock it up somehow, so if this thread needs a lockin' then woops, sorry, and cool.

  • SLyMSLyM Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    It's not like a permanent rule I don't think, just bogey getting tired of what politics do to people.

    Steam Starcraft SLeague of Legends
  • MeldingMelding Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    This is still a pretty big deal, for the brits.

  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Hmm.

    I still don't know what I'm doing with this.

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  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
  • SporkAndrewSporkAndrew Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2011
    I basically had my mind made up for me when I got the "No to AV" leaflet through the post as it was pretty much the most insulting thing I had ever read. It's basically a bunch of whining and misinformation with analogies that make no sense.

    Then again, the "Yes to AV" campaign featured a war veteran in a blatant tug of the heart-strings so they're both just as bad as each other.

    The one about the fucking space hairdresser and the cowboy. He's got a tinfoil pal and a pedal bin. His father's a robot and he's fucking fucked his sister. Lego. They're all made of fucking lego.
  • TaskmanTaskman Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    A lot of the arguments against AV are reasonably fatuous, but for the sake of giving the opposition a fair shake here goes:

    -The extra complexity of the system means that Jimbob Seventhumbs of Norwich won't understand how it works. The implication is that this will cause a downturn in the number of active voters.

    -The ranking system means that potentially extreme right or left parties such as the BNP and UKIP could garner seats they wouldn't have had a hope of getting before.

    -The extra rounds of vote counting means that the voting process will be slower.

    -The principal of democratic action in Britain has always been one man, one vote. With AV, if a person votes for a leading candidate, their vote is counted once. If, however they vote for a fringe party and rank several other, larger parties behind it then their vote can be counted several times.

    Conservatives string together more arguments here

    Telegraph piece with some highly bias linkage

    I'm probably voting for AV, but honestly no matter what you do you're ultimately forced to vote for our current set of politicians, and they're all drawn from the same poisoned well.

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  • apricotmuffinsapricotmuffins Angry Bee Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Its incredibly infuriating that our choices are between FPTP and AV. Both options are completely inadequate. but if we don't change, we'll be left with the MORE inadequate option.


    Irony is, all the conservatives who are campaigning against AV use AV to elect leaders internally. I tried asking my MP what he made of that and how they can justify a voting system that is supposedly so wrong being the one they use themselves, but i got no answer.

    probably because i regularly fling thinly veiled insults at him on twitter... hmm maybe i should stop that.

  • KoshianKoshian __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2011
  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Taskman wrote: »

    -The ranking system means that potentially extreme right or left parties such as the BNP and UKIP could garner seats they wouldn't have had a hope of getting before.

    This would be my main concern of voting for AV.

    whowhosigraw_zps833557f6.jpg
  • GumpyGumpy There is always a greater powerRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Irony is, all the conservatives who are campaigning against AV use AV to elect leaders internally. I tried asking my MP what he made of that and how they can justify a voting system that is supposedly so wrong being the one they use themselves, but i got no answer.

    One is the election of a single leader via an informed group, and one is an election of 600 something candidates by the general public. Leadership elections and national elections are two completely different processes, and you can support one system for one and another system for the other without being hypocritical. There's plenty of reasons to vote yes, but that's a red herring.

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  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Canada has redoubled my determination to vote Yes.

  • GumpyGumpy There is always a greater powerRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Liiya wrote: »
    Taskman wrote: »

    -The ranking system means that potentially extreme right or left parties such as the BNP and UKIP could garner seats they wouldn't have had a hope of getting before.

    This would be my main concern of voting for AV.

    The threat of BNP suddenly dropping into seats across the land is a pretty minor one, since they'd require more votes under AV then they would under FPTP. BNP/The Socialists are rejecting AV because it requires them to get the approval of 50% of the population of a constituency, where under FPTP they only need to get more votes then the other parties, allowing the possibility of them getting through with between 35-40% of the vote.

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  • WietWiet Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Both options are awful and it's pretty much a lovely Tory ploy to get rid of pesky voter reform. Either you guys keep FPTP and they can throw up their hands and say they tried, or you guys vote in AV which is still a crappy system and they can claim they honoured the wishes of the population because look at your shiny new voting system!

    Proportional representation is really the only democratic option and I was pretty suprised to find out you guys don't have it.

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  • TaskmanTaskman Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Koshian wrote: »
    is that listing UKIP as left wing because ?????

    Would you accept me dropping the label of 'left' or 'right' in exchange for 'a nasty pack of tossers'?

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  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Gumpy wrote: »
    Liiya wrote: »
    Taskman wrote: »

    -The ranking system means that potentially extreme right or left parties such as the BNP and UKIP could garner seats they wouldn't have had a hope of getting before.

    This would be my main concern of voting for AV.

    The threat of BNP suddenly dropping into seats across the land is a pretty minor one, since they'd require more votes under AV then they would under FPTP. BNP/The Socialists are rejecting AV because it requires them to get the approval of 50% of the population of a constituency, where under FPTP they only need to get more votes then the other parties, allowing the possibility of them getting through with between 35-40% of the vote.

    Ahh I see now.

    I am glad this thread has been made because I have been meaning to look into this more.

    whowhosigraw_zps833557f6.jpg
  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Wiet wrote: »
    Both options are awful and it's pretty much a lovely Tory ploy to get rid of pesky voter reform. Either you guys keep FPTP and they can throw up their hands and say they tried, or you guys vote in AV which is still a crappy system and they can claim they honoured the wishes of the population because look at your shiny new voting system!

    Proportional representation is really the only democratic option and I was pretty suprised to find out you guys don't have it.

    What system do you have in Holland?

    whowhosigraw_zps833557f6.jpg
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Liiya wrote: »
    Taskman wrote: »

    -The ranking system means that potentially extreme right or left parties such as the BNP and UKIP could garner seats they wouldn't have had a hope of getting before.

    This would be my main concern of voting for AV.

    But that very rarely happens.

    I am like 90% sure there hasn't been a case where someone has gathered less than 10% of the vote and has gone on to win.

    Really every argument that taskman put out either doesn't actually happen or influences the result so minutely it doesn't really matter.

  • GumpyGumpy There is always a greater powerRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Wiet wrote: »
    Proportional representation is really the only democratic option and I was pretty suprised to find out you guys don't have it.

    Proportional representation is not a specific voting system, its a type of system that covers a lot of different things. You can't just put in Proportional representation, you need to put in a system that proportionally represents.

    Perimare_zpsfcce2f1c.png
  • WietWiet Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The Netherlands have proportional representation with open party lists, so we're doing pretty good.

    Being afraid of the BNP getting a seat with AV seems like a trivial concern when you're talking about getting a (very slightly) more democratic system, but I don't know how people over there are experiencing it.

    XStly.jpg
  • KoshianKoshian __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2011
    did you know: the member of that monty python spawned party got elected and immediately defected to the BNP, lol.

  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Blake T wrote: »
    Liiya wrote: »
    Taskman wrote: »

    -The ranking system means that potentially extreme right or left parties such as the BNP and UKIP could garner seats they wouldn't have had a hope of getting before.

    This would be my main concern of voting for AV.

    But that very rarely happens.

    I am like 90% sure there hasn't been a case where someone has gathered less than 10% of the vote and has gone on to win.

    Really every argument that taskman put out either doesn't actually happen or influences the result so minutely it doesn't really matter.

    Ah, right. Well thats good.


    My apologies if I'm coming across as ignorant, I'm trying to educate myself on it more.

    whowhosigraw_zps833557f6.jpg
  • GumpyGumpy There is always a greater powerRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Party List is a system I strongly dislike. The idea of not being able to specifically remove a certain politician from office is one that I'm not a huge fan of.

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  • WietWiet Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Gumpy wrote: »
    Wiet wrote: »
    Proportional representation is really the only democratic option and I was pretty suprised to find out you guys don't have it.

    Proportional representation is not a specific voting system, its a type of system that covers a lot of different things. You can't just put in Proportional representation, you need to put in a system that proportionally represents.

    I'm aware, but considering there's zero discussion of actually implementing one of those systems and they're not up for vote it seems moot to argue about it. I should've been less vague though, sorry!

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  • GumpyGumpy There is always a greater powerRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Koshian wrote: »
    did you know: the member of that monty python spawned party got elected and immediately defected to the BNP, lol.

    The monster raving loonys?

    Perimare_zpsfcce2f1c.png
  • TaskmanTaskman Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Wiet wrote:
    Being afraid of the BNP getting a seat with AV seems like a trivial concern when you're talking about getting a (very slightly) more democratic system, but I don't know how people over there are experiencing it.

    We appear to be experiencing it in the most democratic way possible; squabbling, name-calling and masses of largely unbacked propaganda on all sides. Pretty much indistinguishable from all of our day-to-day politics, really.

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  • WietWiet Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Gumpy wrote: »
    Party List is a system I strongly dislike. The idea of not being able to specifically remove a certain politician from office is one that I'm not a huge fan of.

    In our system we can vote for any candidate on a party list with a ''preference vote'' so to speak, so the option of electing specific people still exists.

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  • GumpyGumpy There is always a greater powerRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Wiet wrote: »
    Gumpy wrote: »
    Party List is a system I strongly dislike. The idea of not being able to specifically remove a certain politician from office is one that I'm not a huge fan of.

    In our system we can vote for any candidate on a party list with a ''preference vote'' so to speak, so the option of electing specific people still exists.

    Electing specific people is good, much better then raw party list, but would you ever be able to get rid of Nick Clegg under the system? How would you knock out a specific part of a parties elite?

    Perimare_zpsfcce2f1c.png
  • Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling merrily] Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    One thing that irritates me massively is how people are being convinced AV is too confusing. It's not rocket science.

    What are your top ten favourite albums of all time, in order?

    There, you just performed the exact same level of intellectual work as you would do voting with AV.
    Wiet wrote: »
    Being afraid of the BNP getting a seat with AV seems like a trivial concern when you're talking about getting a (very slightly) more democratic system, but I don't know how people over there are experiencing it.

    Yes this. People are being turned off it because there is a chance a party they don't like might get in. But it's a more democratic system, you get more say in who is elected. How is that a bad thing? If the BNP win some seats, that's obviously because some people want them in. Does their opinion not matter just because they like a fringe party?

    Also this argument I keep hearing of "AV lets the 3rd place guy win" or whatever. Well, if every vote under AV came up with the same result as under FPTP, what would be the point in suggesting change in the first place? The whole reason people want more proportional representation is exactly because it will make a change in the results. So that maybe the 63.9% of us who didn't vote for the tories last general election don't end up with a tory government.

  • WietWiet Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Theoretically you'd get them out by not voting on them. There are usually more candidates on the list then there are seats available, so people not voting on a specific person would mean that person could end up not getting in. Campaigning for preferential votes isn't going to hurt the party either, since you'd end up voting for another candidate under the same banner.

    In practice people usually don't care enough and I recognise that's a flaw.

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  • SporkAndrewSporkAndrew Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2011
    smof wrote: »
    One thing that irritates me massively is how people are being convinced AV is too confusing. It's not rocket science.

    Plus with AV you can essentially vote as you do at the moment just by putting a 1 next to the party you want to vote for and not filling in any more numbers.

    The one about the fucking space hairdresser and the cowboy. He's got a tinfoil pal and a pedal bin. His father's a robot and he's fucking fucked his sister. Lego. They're all made of fucking lego.
  • KoshianKoshian __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2011
  • Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling merrily] Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    One issue I do see with AV is if people don't make full use of it, and still only vote for the candidate they want first. Which would be their prerogative, but I imagine could end up skewing the results in favour of people who actually bothered to list multiple choices. Not sure how you would combat that beyond making it compulsory to rank all of them. Which then would be a problem if people didn't actually research all the candidates. It's a tricky one, which would only really be fixed by making politics in general more interesting and engaging to the general populace. And I don't see that happening.

    edit: I wrote this before seeing SporkAndrew's post. Wasn't trying to be snarky!

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    It's a shame that the no campaign is going to take this in a huge landslide, as there's really no sane reason to favour FPTP over AV, unless you happen to be a Tory MP in a "safe" constituency.

    I think the best reason for voting no was so that we can get PV instead. This appears to be based on the expectation that we'll have a referendum every month until we choose a new system. It's not like we have only ever had two referendums in history. And then again, I'm not sure I like the idea of PV, although I think this just stems from my own clumsy attempts to think of what a system based on PV would look like in the UK.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • FyndirFyndir Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Liiya wrote: »
    Hmm.

    I still don't know what I'm doing with this.

    Liiya.

    Liiya.

    Let me help you.

    The BNP support keeping FPTP.

    The basic litmus test for British politics is "What do the BNP want? Oh? Let's do the opposite, fuck them.", so apply that rule here.

    Plus it's what I say people should do, and I'm reassuringly tall.
    Taskman wrote: »
    -The ranking system means that potentially extreme right or left parties such as the BNP and UKIP could garner seats they wouldn't have had a hope of getting before.

    I do not believe that to be true, as I seem to recall the BNP winning a seat with something like 10% of the vote in one election, it seems that they ONLY win due to FPTP.

  • apricotmuffinsapricotmuffins Angry Bee Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    AV also minimises the need for tactical voting or a 'wasted vote'. Under av, one part can't say 'you don't want party x to get in, so instead of voting for party Y who definately won't win, vote for us, party z because we'll beat x.

    one of the many reasons for low voter turnout. Of course, it can result in other forms of tactical voting, but this one at least is eliminated.

  • WietWiet Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    It's a shame that the no campaign is going to take this in a huge landslide, as there's really no sane reason to favour FPTP over AV, unless you happen to be a Tory MP in a "safe" constituency.

    I think the best reason for voting no was so that we can get PV instead. This appears to be based on the expectation that we'll have a referendum every month until we choose a new system. It's not like we have only ever had two referendums in history. And then again, I'm not sure I like the idea of PV, although I think this just stems from my own clumsy attempts to think of what a system based on PV would look like in the UK.

    Voting no on AV because you want something else seems like shooting yourself in the foot. As long as you guys have a Tory government you're not going to see another referendum on this, so a small step is better than no step at all.

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  • FyndirFyndir Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Also, Stephen Fry says you should vote for AV.

    You want to try disagreeing with Stephen Fry?

    I don't.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J31QkzWmmUc

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