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Referendum on the Alternative Vote
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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #101
09-05-2011 07:42 AM

From a leading article in this morning's 'Independent'

Quote:
[...]] let's hear it for Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh Central and Glasgow Kelvin, as well as the London boroughs of Camden, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth and Southwark. Here, the Alternative Vote convincingly carried the day.


The particular reasons why these places voted as they did will doubtless be studied long and hard by psephologists and demographers, and they will provide material for many a doctoral thesis in years to come. But it is hard to escape the impression that these 10 districts between them represent a pretty formidable concentration of brain power and diversity of all kinds. Could it be, perhaps, that we are looking here at a bold intellectual and political vanguard that may one day be vindicated? If so, Oxford, Cambridge and the rest are not unrepresentative so much as ahead of their time.


Sounds plausible to me.

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michael


Posts: 3,224
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #102
09-05-2011 08:08 AM

Some of those places voting Yes to AV are notable for the fact that they are exactly the type of places where AV would have made a difference:
Hampstead is a 3-way marginal with a majority of 42 (winner had 32.8% of votes cast).
Oxford West has a majority of 176 but in the general election the Greens did quite badly in Oxford, contrary to their position in the local council for a couple of decades. I suspect Green voters, as well as many others, voted tactically in the Oxford East and Oxford West at the general election.
Cambridge is very similar to Lewisham West - with two parties close together in second place.
Edinburgh has four party politics while Glasgow has one party politics (actually SNP are quite weak in Edinburgh but growing in strength in Glasgow).

I have a suspicion based on this that in Lewisham, where the vote was so close, Yes to AV may actually have won in Lewisham West, which is currently the more marginal of the three constituencies. Not that it really matters, the nation has spoken and democratic reform will just have to move forward in the House of Lords faster than in the Commons. Although the cheaper option would just be to scrap the second chamber entirely and remove all the scrutinity that takes place in the Lords.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #103
09-05-2011 09:55 AM

Quote:
Cambridge is very similar to Lewisham West

Thanks, Michael, you've confirmed a lifelong prejudice!

Punts on the Pool River, anyone?

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michael


Posts: 3,224
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #104
13-05-2011 12:22 PM

The worst method for deciding who runs a council or becomes MP is drawing lots. The FPTP system is so crude that this is exactly how the Bury council election was decided last week. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics...-seat.html

I doubt this would ever happen under AV or STV.

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #105
13-05-2011 01:27 PM

Why on earth would it not happen under AV? And how, realistically, is it worse than deciding it on the ninth preferences of BNP voters?

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michael


Posts: 3,224
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #106
13-05-2011 02:09 PM

If there was an exact 50:50 division between 2 candidates, after all votes had been redistributed, then I suspect you would look at who got the most 1st preference, 2nd preference etc. There has to be a difference somewhere along the line. It wouldn't end up with straws.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #107
13-05-2011 03:03 PM

Thankfully we still have the system that has served Britain well.

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #108
14-05-2011 12:32 AM

Would you? You sure about that? Anyway, so basically what you're saying is that you revert to FPTP. Nice.

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hillsideresident


Posts: 148
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #109
17-05-2011 09:21 AM

Baboonery talks about AV being run according to "the ninth preferences of BNP voters".

No. AV whittles down the lesser candidates until you have only two left, and then counts equally EVERYONE'S preference for one or the other of those two candidates in that last round of voting. This is the same as the system for electing the party leaders. For the third or fourth time of asking, why is that system good enough for MPs to elect their own leaders, but is somehow not good enough for us?

Brian says that the existing system has served us well. I don't. I think the country is in a hell of a state, and that having a parliament that was more representative of the people would have helped a lot. We wouldn't have had Thatcher, and we wouldn't have needed her for the things she got right. More recently, we wouldn't have had the tuition fees cuts, or the riots. There'd have been less confrontation and more working together.

We were given a chance for a more representative system and we rejected it, partly because many Tory and Labour voters preferred to continue with alternate majority Governments, and partly because many voters generally didn't understand AV and preferred to stick with what they knew.

Big chance missed.

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DerbyHillTop


Posts: 120
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #110
17-05-2011 02:58 PM

Tinkering with the system in the small way such as AV still does not address the issue that turnout at the elections is rather poor.

There was no option for full proportional representation either. That would be big chance missed. (Altough I would agree that AV is a step to full PR)

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hillsideresident


Posts: 148
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #111
17-05-2011 06:19 PM

If AV would have led to more coalitions, as most people think, then it would hardly have been "tinkering" "in a small way". For a start, if we'd always had it, it seems likely that we would never have had Thatcher. Pretty big difference, I'd say.

The point of AV was that it was more democratic, not to make more people vote. That's a separate issue.

PR is not relevant either, as we weren't offered it. We were, however, actually offered AV. We had a chance for a more democratic system and we said "no". No co-incidence that Oxford and Cambridge voted for it.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,361
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #112
17-05-2011 06:57 PM

The campaign for the YES vote was ridulously poor.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #113
17-05-2011 09:08 PM

And there's more to come, folks! Single transferable vote elections for the Senate! Do we demand a referendum on that as well?

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #114
18-05-2011 07:20 AM

Why dont we make attendance at vote manditory? That way nobody can argue that the party that get voted in didnt have the highest count.

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ryananglem


Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #115
18-05-2011 07:45 AM

Unfortunately it would make no difference. Its compulsary to vote in Australia, they get fined if they dont - but it just means they get uninformed voters turning up to vote, rather than people actually voting for policies.

I think most people in the UK would vote if they thought it would make a difference.

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