Comments:UK holds referendum on voting system

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Yesterday was the national IQ test...605:30, 29 May 2011

Yesterday was the national IQ test...

...and we failed. Failure to adopt even a tiny nudge towards a sensible, just voting system, fed by idiotic lies, misdirection, dodgy logic and propaganda by the Rupert Murdoch-backed No campaign means we aren't likely to get any meaningul electoral (or fundamental constitutional) reform for a very long time because, well, "reform is hard, let's watch TV". Sigh. Britain really needs a brain transplant. Our electorate really is dumber than a sack of hammers.

Tom Morris (talk)04:38, 6 May 2011

Don't count your chickens before they're frozen and on the shelf in Iceland, Tom. The results of the AV vote aren't even due until tonight, and I would hope we've got enough sense to turn the voting system into something usable, rather than it being the horse race it is now. First past the post only works at Aintree and the other racecourses round the world, not at Westminster.

BarkingFish (talk)08:58, 6 May 2011

Sure, it'd be great if it happened, but based on the polling, I'm not at all optimistic.

Tom Morris (talk)09:18, 6 May 2011

Just out of curiosity, what is the main argument against the Alternative Vote system? I don't see why it would be opposed, since the 'first past the post' system allows candidates to win without a majority of the vote. (talk)13:46, 6 May 2011

Here are all of the arguments I've heard against AV.

  1. People are stupid and unable to cope with having to order their preferences. (People may be stupid, but not that stupid, and if they are that stupid, they shouldn't be voting using any system.)
  2. It is "untested" (except in countries like Australia).
  3. Not many other countries use it (...not many other countries have an NHS, but that's not a reason to not have one. Not many other Western countries persist in having a monarchy, but I don't see the government wanting to get rid of the monarchy because other country's are republics.)
  4. It isn't "British" (seriously, that's an argument David Cameron used).
  5. It will cost lots of money which we could spend on hospitals or something (it won't).
  6. It will mean the Tories lose seats (which is bad if you are a Tory).
  7. It will mean the LibDems gain seats (which is bad if you don't like the LibDems).
  8. Winston Churchill didn't like it.
  9. It's not "real" proportional representation.
  10. It'll lead to more extremist politicians including the British National Party (which is why they are against it).
  11. It'll lead to more moderate, middle-of-the-road politicians (rather contradicts the previous argument).
  12. Under AV, your vote gets counted twice (not true: in some situations, your lower preference votes get counted but only once your first preferences have been set aside).
  13. It'll lead to larger majorities in landslide elections such as the 1997, where Labour would have had a much bigger majority. (But that's because in 1997, Labour had majority support of the country!)
  14. It'll lead to smaller majorities and more hung parliaments and thus more coalitions. (Urgh, that's the opposite of the previous argument, right?)
  15. Rupert Murdoch doesn't like it.
Tom Morris (talk)16:43, 6 May 2011

Regarding 13 & 14, I can see the argument of 14 certainly. After all, look at Belgium, which uses a system like this and hasn't had a majority controlled parliament for $(insert.selected_deity) only knows how long.

BarkingFish (talk)16:52, 6 May 2011

Which is not a bad thing, right? As far as I know democracy is all about giving voice to all minorities (as opposed to the common-knowledge "hearing the single majority's opinion"). (talk)05:30, 29 May 2011