18 April 2011

No Chance!!

I've voted Labour in every general election since I was eligible in 1992(at age 23 as I missed out by a few weeks in 1987!).

Yet, not once were Labour my first choice party, they were my second and sometimes my third choice. This has never been recorded at the ballot box. For all anyone knows, I might be die hard Labour because the one choice that first-past-the-post has given me has distorted my vote in a desperate attempt to try and make my vote count (my vote has never made a difference).

Desperate because I am trying like millions of other voters to guess what they are going to vote based on past results from years ago and movements in current opinion polls. AV does away with all this and allows you to vote for who you really like and rank the others in order (if you so choose).

Sadly, the latest opinion polls seem to suggest that the Yes vote is lost. We had our chance, but the Noes with their banker backing and control of most of the media were just too strong. We should have won, but there is little consolation.

David Cameron will make a gushing speech where he will say people have voted for first-past-the-post rather than to reject AV. Silver lining? This will slow the move to PR, but it might also makes a move to STV less likely and perhaps List PR will prevail in a referendum within a generation. Preference voting will have been rejected on May 5th. Still a referendum is unlikely to happen in my lifetime. It will be interesting to see what happens at the next election under first-past-the-post when the party in third place gets most seats. How will Cameron defend that?

4 comments:

  1. I don't think either side has made much of a case.

    The FPTP crowd just tell lies and the AV crowd promise all sorts of wonderful things which aren't true and fail to address your simple point that most people vote tactically rather than for the favourite candidate, that is the only real advantage (and a very important one it is too).

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  2. The YES campaign has been a disaster from start to finish. The NO2AV campaigners could sell ice to Eskimoes. NO2AV have considered every weakness of their campaign and got their claim in first, putting YES on the backfoot. YES2AV have tried to ignore the AV myths but now it is too late to counter them, the myths have gained credence.

    So BNP support the Noes, yet most coverage has accused YES of racism. AV makes it harder for extremists, yet most people think the opposite. AV won't cost any more according to the treasury, yet most think it will cost loads on counting machines and think it is too complicated to rank candidates and count them.

    They keep saying only 3 countries use AV, but all these use AV for either parliament, President or electing Mayors; Australia, Ireland, Scotland, N.Ireland, USA, Malta, Fiji, Papua N Guinea. Then there is the AV variant SV used to elect Mayors in London and other cities in England. Over 14m use AV in the UK, voluntary societies, churches, students, and best of all the Tories, Labour and Lib Dem members select their MPs using preference voting. Even MPs use AV to decide who is on select committees.

    NO2AV just keep flinging the mud and YES2AV just let it stick. YES2AV have generally tried to stay with the facts, but they overclaim by making people think it will make MPs work harder (only in the sense that some will need more votes to be elected).

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  3. I agree that the Yes campaign is somewhat over-egging the pudding by concentrating so much on the effect that AV *might* (in certain constituencies) have on MPs, which is speculation really. I wish they had made much more of the "avoiding the split vote" point, which is to me the more convincing argument, as I have spent my life trying to vote tactically against the Tories, and AV would definitely (not just possibly) remove that pressure.

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  4. PZT, Couldn't agree more, we have 7 days left to close the gap and hope that 'differential turnout' will make the difference (London and Brighton and Hove should vote Yes, so too the Celtic fringe), hopefully turnout will be poor in solid Tory areas but I doubt it).

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