Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Alternative Vote: the answers

In the posts below I have posed a couple of questions about how AV works; not because I really want to know how it works but merely to demonstrate that those who claim it's all too complicated aren't stupid - it really is complicated. In fact the pro-AVists who go around saying its pretty simple are themselves simple in the head and have failed to tackle the detail of how votes would be counted.

Anyway, the answer to all AV questions is this: vote against AV and then it doesn't matter.

Remember, tomorrow's AV vote is actually more significant than any elections. Elections just choose leaders for a term in office; however good or bad they are the politician is sooner or later out of office and you get to pick someone else.

A vote for AV is a vote lasting forever. It changes the system in an open-ended manner, possibly in perpetuity.

AV is also likely to produce coalition governments. Prior to May 2010 a lot of people would have said that's a good thing. Our previous experience of coalition was during WWII which had a successful outcome. But now it's clear if you elect a one-party government at least some of their election pledges will be kept. If you elect a two-party government no pledge is safe; even if both parties have pledged the same thing (eg, no rise in student fees) the pledge may not hold.

On the other hand this blog is a BNP-supporting blog and AV is quite attractive to the BNP voter: he (or she) can give his first preference to the BNP candidate thus expressing support for nationalist policies, and his second preference to a candidate with a fighting chance of winning. The BNP would of course recommend the second candidate. Given the BNP's current minor party status the BNP candidate would be eliminated early and the BNP voters' second preference would then have the same significance as other voters' first preference. This means BNP supporters still get to choose who is elected, and better, if the second preference main-stream candidate actually gets elected he will do so thanks to a bloc of votes from BNP supporters - and thereafter be beholden to the BNP, especially if the BNP bloc tipped the balance for him.

So AV wouldn't be a disaster for the BNP.

Nonetheless, this blog recommends voting AGAINST the AV system: firstly because it's such an incomprehensible mess; secondly because it produces unaccountable coalition governments; thirdly because you should not skew the electoral system to favour a particular party, even if its a party you support; and finally because the BNP does not intend to be a small party forever and any advantage AV brings to small parties would then count against the BNP.

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