Friday, February 18, 2011

Alternative Vote Campaign

Message from William Hague:

Dear Richard,

Without your help, Britain's traditional voting system could be ditched for something that is unfair, expensive and allows candidates that finish third to win elections.

On May 5th, there's a nationwide referendum on whether to replace the system of first Past the Post with the 'Alternative Vote' - or AV. The Liberal Democrats demanded this referendum as part of the Coalition agreement - but the Conservative Party are actively campaigning for a 'No' vote. Here's why:

AV is unfair. With First Past the Post, everybody gets one vote. But under AV, supporters of extreme parties like the BNP would get their vote counted many times, while other people's vote would only be counted once.

AV doesn't work. Rather than the candidate with the most votes winning, the person who finishes third could be declared the winner. AV is expensive. Calculating the results is a long, complicated process, which would cost the taxpayer millions.

No-one wants AV. Even the 'Yes' campaigners don't actually want AV - they see it as a convenient stepping stone to yet more changes to how we vote.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

- Go to the No to AV website and sign up to receive emails;
- Ask your local Conservative Association how you can help their campaign against AV; and
- Join the NO to AV group on Facebook or follow them on Twitter

Together, we can win this referendum and save our voting system.

Thank you,


William Hague
Foreign Secretary

1 comment:

  1. Michael KilpatrickMarch 5, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    Oh dear, oh dear. Anyone who mentions the BNP should be automatically excluded from taking part in any debate on this matter. It's shameful. If you believe in democracy you have to accept that extremists and lunatics might get votes. That's what democracy means. It's our job to convince voters not to vote BNP, not to provide electoral system that are rigged deliberately to exclude minorities - that doesn't discriminate between loonies and sensible minority parties. Shame on you.

    Also, it's a lie to suggest that votes get counted more than once. If you voted for the candidate with the least 1st-preference votes, your 1st vote isn't "counted" at all, as it has not contributed to the ranking of any of the remaining candidates who are likely to win. Take a simple example with only three candidates, two of which get exactly 45% of the 1st vote. No clear winner, but it's abundantly clear that 10% of the voters have not yet had any influence on the outcome. That's why the loser's 2nd-preference votes are then counted. It's clear that the final result depends entirely on the sum of (a) the 1st-pref votes of the 90% of voters who voted for the leading two candidates and (b) the 2nd-pref votes of the 10% who voted for the third candidate.

    Therefore, each and every voter has had one vote and only one vote that counts towards the final outcome.

    It's shameful that people can peddle such anti-intellectual arguments against AV. It's actually quite simple. Let's not insult the intelligence of the public, please.

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