Sunday, 6 March 2011

AV vs FPTP vs using a pin with your eyes shut......

Seems there is a bit of an argument/discussion on-going on Twitter and the Blogosphere about the various merits of each system.

Would someone please enlighten me to what the hell difference any voting system would make when:

1. Political parties control who is put forward to the electorate for election?

2. Political parties control how their MPs vote in Parliament?

3. Those we elect do not actually govern our nation, but are no more than filing clerks for what edicts arrive from Brussels?

4. Those chosen to become Secs of State, Ministers and PPSs have effectively disenfranchised their electorate (see previous posts).

5. There is a 'hidden' government - aka Common Purpose - actually deciding what happens?

6. The MSM is effectively in the pocket of Government?

7. The people haven't a clue, nor could care less, which system is used?

Just a few thoughts.........


Afterthought: pperin (on Twitter) please take note!

20 comments:

Paul Perrin (@pperrin) said...

I'd say 4 and 2 are predicated on 1, under FPTP MPs are entirely in-hoc to their parties - not answerable to the voters!!

The risk of vote splitting under FPTP is what gives parties this power. AV has no vote splitting issues, so takes that power from the parties and gives it to the voters!

Once voters are empowered (at the expense of the parties!) all good things flow!

Anonymous said...

8. All the main political parties are the same.

Sue said...

Precisely why I haven't committed/commented on AV.

It's clearly another ploy to give us the impression that we live in a democracy. We need a referendum, but not one that votes in the shamble of shit on offer from the main parties.

What a waste of time and money and a insult to our intelligence!

Tufty said...

Our political parties have degenerated into political brands with almost no difference between the main brands. We lack political competition and have far too much political collusion. If our main political parties were businesses, they would be fined for rigging the political market. AV won’t make any difference to that.

AV will only make a difference if a large number of voters really support minor parties but currently vote tactically because they don’t think their minor party stands a chance. Seems unlikely to me.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

A: Thanks for the additional point!

Sue: Agreed, tenfold.

PP: 4 and 2 are predicated under AV whilst parties control their MPs and the lists. Under AV MPs are still in hoc to their party.

Don't even mention re-call 'cause we cannot re-call without Parliament agreeing!

Your second para is negated by my first in this response.

Re your last para - how are voters empowered under AV when points 4 and 2 are still extant?

What about my other points, which you noticably fail to answer - especially 1 4 5 and 6?

Well?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

T: Apols your comment did not appear until I had responded to those above!

Totally agree with you - AV will not make the slightest difference!

Woodsy42 said...

"using a pin with your eyes shut"
You mean like the kids game 'pin the tail on the donkey' - very appropriate!

Paul Perrin (@pperrin) said...

@WitteringsfromWitney 1, 2 and 4 are the point directly related to FPTP vs AV ones, hence the ones I chose to address.

2 and 4 are predicated on 1, so only 1 is significant.

And as I say AV defeats the risk of vote splitting.

The risk/fear of splitting a parties vote (and so 'letting in' the opposition) gives parties a near monopoly selecting the candidate in their broad political space.

i.e. Under FPTP an independent conservative running against an official conservative would generally stand no chance - voters being corralled (by the perversity of FPTP) to vote for the official candidate. (Buckingham was an interesting example of the limit of this http://free-english-people.blogspot.com/2011/02/av-could-have-spared-us-sally-bercow.html).

But with AV independent/alternative candidates don't suffer from FPTP's splitters handicap. Parties lose their ability to coerce their 'supporters' into electing an indvidual whose primary concern is their party/party-leader rather than their electorate.

Say #yes2av and candidates can run without the FPTP 'big boys' (parties) advantage working against them.

It is then for voters to elect individuals they really want/trust etc and then for those better MPs to bring about the rest.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

W42: Would hve exactly the same result in that it wouldn't matter where the pin landed for Lib/Lab/Con.

PP: Sorry they are all as significant! No matter if, as you maintain, AV stops vote splitting (which I don't believe anyway) Parties still control their selection lists - how does AV stop that?

You last para of your response is negated by my first of this reply.

Until Open Primaries are mandatory and a recall system introduced that is not subject to Parliamentary approval, the power of the electorate is muzzled! How does AV solve this problem?

Political parties will still corrall their supporters to vote for their preferred candidate - how does AV solve that problem?

Paul Perrin (@pperrin) said...

@WitteringsfromWitney did you read the link I gave?

Under AV Bercow might have been beaten by an *independent* conservative - not in-hoc to any pary, just supporting a particular view.

How can you 'not accept' that AV defeats vote splitting? You can give preferences to two candidates - so instead of splitting the vote (like AV, it only being counted for one or the other), if one candidate goes out your vote transfers to the other... Split votes, re-consolidate as candidates are knocked out.

john in cheshire said...

If the AV option results in us having coalition government as we currently have, then FPTP should be retained. What I want is for a change in how candidates are selected. WfW, if that is called Open Primaries, then I'm all for it. Until we get people who are worthy of our votes, to represent us, then the voting system makes no difference to the outcome.

Paul Perrin (@pperrin) said...

Oh by the way - open primaries - this was reported as costing £40,000 for a single conservative candidate for a single constituency. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8182833.stm

3 candidates, 600 constituents = £72 million.

Is that a good use of money when anyone could stand as a candidate under AV without 'FPTP splitters handicap' ?

And you still end up with a candidate in bondage to their party/party leader.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

jic: Yup open primaries decide which candidate for any party goes on ballot paper. And no, until the quality of candidates is improved, plus the party control of candidates and their voting behaviour removed - no it matters not a damn who you vote for, nor the method of voting used.

PP: Yup, read the link but not really interested in changing to a system that 'might' offer a different result.

So a voting system that results in second or third best getting elected is good? C'mon......

Can one put a price on true democracy? Anyway, let the parties foot the bill!

Under any system used, whilst the political control remains in candidate selection(which AV will not remove!)we still end up with a candidate in bondage to his/her party - as you said!

This last point is one that you have yet to refute.

All AV does is 'cement' the control of politics that the Lib/Lab/Con already have. (think about it, if you can)

Anyway, if Yes2AV do win and it then all goes pear-shaped, don't come crying to those of us who were agin the damn system!

Paul Perrin (@pperrin) said...

AV vs FPTP vs using a pin with your eyes shut......
Seems there is a bit of an argument/discussion on-going on Twitter and the Blogosphere about the various merits of each system.

Would someone please enlighten me to what the hell difference any voting system would make when:

1. Political parties control who is put forward to the electorate for election?

2. Political parties control how their MPs vote in Parliament?

3. Those we elect do not actually govern our nation, but are no more than filing clerks for what edicts arrive from Brussels?

4. Those chosen to become Secs of State, Ministers and PPSs have effectively disenfranchised their electorate (see previous posts).

5. There is a 'hidden' government - aka Common Purpose - actually deciding what happens?

6. The MSM is effectively in the pocket of Government?

7. The people haven't a clue, nor could care less, which system is used?

Just a few thoughts.........


Afterthought: pperin (on Twitter) please take note!


PP: Yup, read the link but not really interested in changing to a system that 'might' offer a different result.

In that case you wan't dictatorship! That is the only way to ensure a different restult. AV is a tool that *allows* different, more representative results. Its still up to people to express their views and control the result...

PP: So a voting system that results in second or third best getting elected is good? C'mon......

I've answered that many times over - but here we go again "Under AV, your vote is always counted for your first preference among the candidates still available". In elections (FPTP included) you an only vote for 'the best of who is running' - not a universal perfect 'first choice', but 'the best of who is available' - if somone isn't running or is knocked out you choose 'the best of who is available'.

PP: Can one put a price on true democracy? Anyway, let the parties foot the bill!

1) If the cost is for something that isn't needed then it is just waste. 2) It cost me several thousand pounds to run in the last election (with absolultey no expectation of getting any return - target was to double the local UKIP vote and contributing to near 1,000,000 votes nationally) you think each candidate can afford another £40,000 on top of that?

PP: Under any system used, whilst the political control remains in candidate selection(which AV will not remove!)we still end up with a candidate in bondage to his/her party - as you said!

Under AV you can run as an independent but supporting a party line - no party permission needed. And voters cannot be blackmailed into voting for the 'official' candidate instead with a line of "if you don't vote for the official candidate, our vote will be split and you'll 'let in' XYZ - you wouldn't want to be responsible for that now would you"

Under AV, I beleive a number of LibDem MP tution fee pledge renegers will face 'unofficial' lib dem candidates running against them - and probably lose!

PP: This last point is one that you have yet to refute. All AV does is 'cement' the control of politics that the Lib/Lab/Con already have. (think about it, if you can)

LibLabCon cannot be more cemented in than they already are with FPTP - what 'opportunity' to remove them do we lose by ditching FPTP? I do object to you suggesting that I haven't thought about these issues - I don't have any duty/repsonsibity to respond to anyone.

PP: Anyway, if Yes2AV do win and it then all goes pear-shaped, don't come crying to those of us who were agin the damn system!

What do you mean? Whan are you suggesting I have gone crying to anyone? I've got off my arse and made things happen - no one has *given* me anything.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PP: Oops, are we a tad upset?

At general elections, if a party wishes to put up candidates then it is for the electorate to vet their sitability and choose which one.

Obviously does not apply to any 'independents.

We already have dictatorship, in case you hadn't noticed, evidenced by only one option to which to change.

Whatever system is used party coercion of their supporters to vote for that party will still happen.

I am not suggesting that you haven't thought about this matter - only possibly that you haven't thought about it sufficiently.

Lastly I never said you had gone crying to anyone - if you read what I wrote it said when and if it does happen and when and if it does go pearshaped.......

Paul Perrin (@pperrin) said...

Upset? More disappointed.

So, independent LibDems running against incumbent pledge renegers - wouldn't happen under FPTP - but can happen under AV (I know some who are quite keen on the idea).

An example of FPTP based party control being broken by AV. Local party supporters taking back control.

Simple.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PP: May not have happened with Libdems (well can't recall immediately) but has happened with Ind Labour and Conservative candidates - so it has happened under FPTP!

In any event parties cannot stop a renegade standing as an independent Lib/Lab/Con (just means that the independent cannot use the party logo) which they can do under either FPTP or AV - so that is also not a valid reason for change.

Re upset/disappointed - this is not personal, just a debate. I feel Yes2AV still have to make their case. As you know also I object to the politicos dictating what the choice is. On that principle alone the electorate should shun this referendum.

Paul Perrin (@pperrin) said...

Are you just being obtuse?

Under FPTP an unofficial party candidate has virtually zero chance because unless the parties supporters all vote the same way (official or unofficial) then the vote splitting will damage their chances.

Do you understand that? Risk of vote splitting under FPTP means voters have to vote the same way and the 'official' candidate will have the best chance of being the focus of that?

Under AV people can put preferences for both candidates, one after the other in order of preference - and the votes will consolidate on the more popular of the two. So the 'independent' does not have an automatic disadvantage; nor the official-party candidate an automatic advantage.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PP: Me obtuse? Never! Argumentative? Nearly always!

For the avoidance of doubt I am well aware of how AV works and the supposed advantages that supporters of that put forward - all I ask is that the case is made logically.

On the basis that it is not compulsory to list candidates - one can vote for just one - it seems the advantage/disadvantage of which you attempt to make so much of is negated somewhat.

In areas like Barnsley or Witney, where a three-legged stool with a red or blue rosette would win, AV won't make the slightest difference - and there are many more constituencies like that, as you well know. Those tribal voters will still vote for the party candidate as first choice, hence will always get the majority of votes on the first round. Those voting for another party will always put their preferred choice second, hence we end up with the Lib/Lab/Con triumvirate....

One easy way to settle this PP, you provide a full example (with 'working' figures of each stage) of where and how AV can 'upset the apple cart' and I may then concede you have won the argument.
On the other hand....... :)

Paul Perrin (@pperrin) said...

I can't *prove* what an AV result would be anymore than *prove* what an FPTP result would be.

But I could see people like Norman Baker (Lib Dem MP) in Lewis facing a challenge. Dis-illusiioned LibDem activists running their own 'honest lib dem' candidate against him.

Lib Dems currently have over 50% of the vote - but many of those won't be Normans after his posturing on a no vote on tuition fees then not even abstaining but voting yes!

So next general election result - same as last but first round had LibDems split between Norman and 'An Other LibDem' gets down to conservative on 40% and the two libdems on about 30% each, one goes next (norman or an other) votes switch to remaining one and job done.

last election result http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewes_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s