Home > General > Cameron on the AV voting system….

Cameron on the AV voting system….

I’ve just listened to Cameron talking against AV on 5Live and i noticed a couple of things. First of all he didn’t say what AV actually is, he just criticised it. Well you can find out what it is here .
Secondly he played the old trick of replaying the result of a past election in AV format, without any knowledge of what peoples’ preference votes might have been and ignoring the fact that people will vote differently under an AV system.
IOW if you want to know the facts don’t listen to a politician.

BTW I’ve already posted this on MyT, but would be interested to hear thoughts on AV, especially from those who have experience of it.

Categories: General
  1. February 18, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I don’t like the idea, being a racing man. First past the post for me!

  2. February 18, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I want to vote for a person, if mine wins, fair enough, if the other one wins what’s the point of voting in the first place?

    No, seriously, I would rather see a multiple-vote system. I don’t care how non-PC it is to say it but my vote is not equal to that of the know-nothing chav sitting next to me on the vote – nor am I, in all likelihood, the most or best qualified person amongst the charioteers to decide who would best represent us in any elected body. A multiple-vote system should, at least, give a little more weight to the views of those who actually think about what they are voting for.

  3. oldmovieguy
    February 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Who gives a monkeys what cameron or any other politician says, they are all a bunch of lying scroats.

    Equitable Life? Gone back on their word.
    Military Covenant? Gone back on their word.
    Help for the elderly? Gone back on their word.
    Tuition Fees? Gone back on their word.
    Aid to India and other ‘developing’ countries? Promises kept and funding increased.

    See a theme developing here? Please feel free to add to the list of broken promises by these trough snuffling, lying, untrustworthy excuses for men and women that infest the once great tradition of public service.

  4. Boadicea
    February 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I’m not surprised that Cameron and others don’t want to change the first past the post system – it ensures that a fear of ‘allowing the opposition’ in stops people voting for parties that they really want to.

    Thanks for putting the link up – I’m always being told that the AV being proposed in the UK is quite different from what we have here – it isn’t. It’s exactly what we do for the House of Reps and I reckon it’s great.

    I don’t like proportional representation – we have that for the Senate – it means that one cannot vote for someone to stand in a local constituency.

    The biggest advantage of AV is that my vote really means something. I can vote for the party of my choice KNOWING that I can direct it to a second, third, etc choice – without losing it and thereby allowing a party that I really don’t want in power to win.

    If I have an objection to the way that AV works here is that I cannot ‘stop’ my vote. I can’t say that after two or three preferences I want my vote to stop. It’s only a minor irritation, but it does annoy me that maybe my 20th preference has to go to a party I really oppose.

    I’m sure that the major parties in the UK will play on people’s fears, pull out the ‘traditional’ card, misinterpret the effects that it would have had in the last election and do all they can to avoid giving the electorate more control over their once-in-five-years chance to express their opinion through their vote.

    It’s a far better system than first-past-the-post.

  5. February 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    The one reason I may be in favour of an AV system is that it makes the tenure of any politician a lot more uncertain. With uncertainty of tenure in the post comes a little more attention to what his electors want him to do as their MP. At the moment any MP appointed to a so-called safe seat, can more or less guarantee he will be in that position almost for life; not so, with AV. Alongside boundary changes, which unchanged favour the Labour party unduly, I think it could lead to more interesting slant to democracy. With voter apathy at its current rates, first past the post seems to provide us with a party in power for whom only 25% of the potential voting population support.
    In my heart, I share OMG’s view that politics attracts an undue number of self-aggrandising, money-grubbing, lying stoats – with due deference to my friends at the Bar (make mine a pint of Appletiser?), is it just a coincidence how many of them happen to be lawyers and journalists?

  6. Boadicea
    February 18, 2011 at 12:46 pm


    I watched the UK election from here – right where I’m sitting now! I found it incredible that the constituencies were so imbalanced in their numbers of voters – it makes a nonsense of the whole system when it can take twice as many people to vote a Conservative MP in as it does to vote in a Labour MP.

    One of the advantages of AV is that it does put the major parties on notice as to what the electorate is thinking. I suspect that a lot more people would have voted UKIP if they had been able to vote for a second choice – so yes it does make for more interesting politics!

  7. February 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I think that balancing constituency size is part of the reform and I’m all for it including AV.
    Mrs Jazz has had an email from William Hague no less extolling the virtues of FPTP and denigrating AV without of course saying what AV is. It would have been easy enough to post the link as I did.

  8. February 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I thought AV was Anti Virus!!!

    seriously our voting system needs changing completely but I do not think AV is the answer as it would lead to hung parliaments forever. Better to bring in new sensible rules.

    No one can be an MP unless they have worked in industry, forces, or services (police etc) for a minimum of 5 years
    Any convictions other than minor driving offence and you are barred
    You must be a UK passport holder, maybe even born a UK citizen
    You cannot stand for more than 3 terms
    You must live in the constituency you represent and have lived there for at least 2 years prior to standing (to stop parachuting in party favourites)
    You are answerable to your constituency and not the damn party.
    (now for the catch 22) you have to be sane

  9. February 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    San Francisco has AV for its local elections. It took 6 weeks to get the board of supervisors seated as they had to go through so many procedures. In 2007, at the last mayoral election, the incumbent, Gavin Newsom, was re-elected with more than 70pc of the vote. The problem is that in the next election there are no terribly strong candidates as Newsom is now serving as Lieutenant Governor. It is likely that the next mayor will be elected with 20pc and not even be the winner of the most votes, this was the case in Oakland last year.

  10. O Zangado
    February 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Everone knows that this is the LibDems last chance to suckle on the teat of power. Vote for it if you wish, but be aware that AV and STV will also lead to the election of MPs from the extremities such as the BNP, the SWP and, God forbid, the Greens.


  11. February 18, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Actually OZ, that’s completely untrue. Preferential voting is biassed towards returning candidates from the major parties. Think it through and you’ll see why.

  12. Boadicea
    February 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I agree – the whole system could do with an over-haul: from who is ‘allowed’ to stand for parliament and for how long, down to the way members of parliament are elected and the size of the constituencies.

    I’ll agree with every word that Rick says about the necessary qualifications for standing for Parliament, I’d prefer that no one was allowed to stand before they were 30 years of age.

    However, the wish that every MP represented his constituency and not a party would almost certainly lead to a Parliament of Independent MPs with no over-all leader to promote legislation and far too many hours devoted to lining up supporters for each and every bill. Certainly, MPs should be more accountable to their constituencies and should be guided by the wishes of their electorate.

    This is where AV comes into its own. With AV, MPs are aware of how many people only gave them their ‘second vote’ and which policies of the minority parties (such as UKIP) those people liked.

    No system will avoid hung parliaments – look at the recent UK election. Indeed, AV could well have given the Conservatives a majority – without the need to go cap in hand to the LibDems. I suspect that quite a few of the ‘lost’ UKIP votes might have preferenced the Conservatives as a second choice. On the other hand, perhaps more people would have voted UKIP in the knowledge that they were not throwing away their vote.

    AV does not lead to the election of minority groups – PR would, but most certainly not AV. Each constituency is treated as a unit – the votes of the minority groups, who don’t stand a hope in hell of winning a seat, are distributed (according to the voters preferences) among the remaining parties. Sure, if sufficient voters vote for a minority, or an Independent, that person will get in – but even with the system here very few Independents make it to Parliament.

    The biggest fault with the UK system is the size of the constituencies – it is not democratic to make one vote in one constituency equal two votes in another. All the fiddling with the voting system and qualifications for MPs will not produce a fairer system until that anomaly is resolved.

  13. February 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Cameron’s plan is to even out the size of the constituencies, and that’s fine by me.

    I want nothing to do with AV, it’s a Socialist plot, as far as I am concerned.

  14. February 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I want nothing to do with AV, it’s a Socialist plot, as far as I am concerned.


    Is there a smiley missing? Or am I merely thick?
    Too long away from the UK to understand, I guess.

  15. February 18, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    No smiley, Bearsy, because as far as I am concerned the Libdems are a pretty socialist bunch. They are certainly not conservative.

  16. February 18, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Hmm. I clearly no longer comprehend the difference between ‘socialist’ and ‘Socialist’ in the EUSSR British region demographic, nor do I understand what ‘conservative’ implies these days – certainly it’s not what Winnie or even Maggie would have meant.

    I bow to your specialised knowledge, Araminta, and withdraw from this particular discussion.

    But I suggest that it is not AV itself that is the monster (being, as far as I can tell, virtually identical with the Australian Preferential system) but the visceral emotional filter through which it is viewed.

  17. February 18, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I should have written the first “socialist” without a capital, “S”, Bearsy.

    There is no need to bow to my specialised knowledge but it is best to understand that my political viewpoint is distinctly “Tory” in the old sense of the word, and if I had my way, the House of Lords would be full of hereditary peers.

    I don’t like tinkering. πŸ™‚

  18. February 18, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    I agree – travellers are a bloody nuisance. 😎

  19. February 18, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Quite so, πŸ™‚

  20. Boadicea
    February 18, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I’m a traditionalist – how could I be otherwise? I’d also like to see the Upper Chamber full of Life Members – not necessarily only hereditary peers, and preferably not Bishops (who knows we’ll have the Imams screaming for seats on ‘religious grounds!) – but certainly people who do not have to toe any party line to retain their seats.

    However, when I see that hanging on to tradition is seriously inhibiting the reasonable aspirations of people to have more control over those in power, I’m all for getting rid of the offending ‘tradition’. And I see first-past-the post as doing just that. One gets one shot at getting rid of Governments – and in the UK only once every five years – let the electorate at least have a proper choice.

  21. February 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Good grief, Boadicea. I’m not going along with that!

    As far as I am concerned, Bishops are Good, and scrap this blooming nonsense of the so called “Supreme Court” or whatever it’s called. It’s another socialist construct.

    No, no choice. We have just about survived, if one can call it that, the almost total destruction of everything I hold dear, by New Labour. I have no intention of that every happening again.

    I’m not inclined to support anything that would make their re-election possible.
    I don’t want socialist, Libdems, UKIP, Greens, the BNP or the like.

  22. Boadicea
    February 18, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Oh! Well!

    Last year my daughter, whose family (all UK voters) asked me about AV, so I told her. I’ve convinced her, which probably means the whole family – I’m really a subversive at heart! πŸ™‚

  23. February 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I’m just a die-hard reactionary, Boadicea, with occasional lapses. πŸ˜‰

  24. February 18, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Interesting, Araminta. New Labour was responsible for the Islamic occupation of Britain, yet you won’t hear a word said against it, for you’ve fallen for socialist political correctness. You would deny the BNP their democratic rights, for again you’ve been brainwashed by socialist propaganda. You are the epitome of New Labour thinking, a shining tribute to all the distorted ideology that was their platform. How can you possibly claim to be an old-fashioned Tory, when you reject all they fought for?

    It does not compute.

  25. February 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Stuff and nonsense, Bearsy.

    There is no Islam occupation of Britain; it is highly exaggerated.
    I don’t wish to ban the BNP, I merely detest everything they stand for, and my political correctness is non-existent. I’m normally civil though, I must admit!

  26. February 18, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    PS: I do indeed blame New Labour for uncontrolled immigration though.

  27. February 18, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week! πŸ˜†

  28. February 18, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Well, it is Friday night. πŸ˜‰

  29. February 18, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Ara, not in serious mode tonight but will be before I vote. Woke up this morning as a dedicated FPTP supporter but not so sure tonight. It’s always a worry when you happen to be a Libran, One Nation Libertarian – I have this horrible tendency to keep seeing the validity of the other side of most arguments.

    On more solid ground personally, I am also an agnostic Presbyterian with legal training so believe that Bishops are Bad in nearly every respect, particularly in any legislative capacity and that the judiciary including the Supreme Court are essential defenders of our liberties against the rapacious claims of the Legislature/Executive. I could, of course, be wrong.

    Jazz, thanks for posting this. Joshing aside, this really does matter and I do not know which way it will go. Tonight, and on the arguments I’ve seen so far, I’m minded to vote for AV so long as the constituencies are distributed fairly. Lots of time to change my mind.

  30. February 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Mr Mackie.

    I too am not in entirely serious mode either but I’m not yet persuaded that AV is a Good Thing.

    Bishops, ah well, they do have a place in the House of Lords but I cannot see any need for the Supreme Court.

    The House of Lords worked well, as far as I am concerned.

  31. February 18, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Lords Spiritual and Temporal, John; it’s a balance but then I was brought up in the Church of England and I am not a lawyer.

  32. February 18, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    It’s a long end, but you’re two up already, JM. πŸ™‚

  33. February 18, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Wot? πŸ™‚

  34. February 18, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    I’m really really worried about being labelled a Socialist, actually, Bearsy.

    I may just sulk for a while. πŸ˜‰

  35. Boadicea
    February 19, 2011 at 12:05 am

    I’m with you, JM, Bishops are a Bad Thing in legislation – mainly because they will insist on ordering my life in the way that they think their God wants them to live (and die). Keep out! Keep out!…

    Not one of the pro “First-the-Post” supporters here have offered one logical reason as to why it is a better system than AV. The response has been all ’emotion’ and the blind acceptance of what the opposers of AV assert will happen if the UK makes a change – assertions without one scrap of evidence.

    If the voters cannot set aside their blinkered vision (that it’s all a LibDem plot, that minority extreme groups will get seats, that there will be hung Parliaments, etc, etc) and judge both sides of the case on their merits – then perhaps the UK doesn’t deserve a system which gives people a better choice in elections.

    JM, AV is not dependent on revising the constituencies – once the mob at the top realise that they can no longer depend on ‘lost’ votes to keep them in power, they will have to start listening to their electorates a bit more closely.

  36. February 19, 2011 at 12:08 am

    To be fair, Boadicea, I’m inclined to agree with some of your above.

    But, it isn’t going to happen here; or I doubt it will.

    We shall see, though.

  37. February 19, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Bowling terminology, Araminta. πŸ˜‰
    Socialists are good at sulking … 😎

  38. February 19, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Don’t get technical with me, Bearsy. πŸ˜‰

    I’m off to bed, but I will be back!

    See you tomorrow.

  39. February 19, 2011 at 4:45 am

    All: I simply have a nagging suspicion that if AV does get approved in the current political climate the UK might wake up with its first PM from the Monster Raving Loony Party, not that there would be much change from Bliar/Flush-it-down…

    Bearsy: of course the UK is subject to Islamic occupation, much like Australia is in the process of becoming the Australia Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

    Boadicea: it seems as if Labour wanted to Americanise the UK even more. The American system of governance works well, in the United States. Okay, the system itself is good — the idiots in it ruin it.

    Araminta: I agree with you, for what it is worth. New Labour are enough to make one turn to religion, if only in order to hope that there is a hell for them to have a special place in.

  40. February 19, 2011 at 6:16 am

    δ½ ε₯½ πŸ˜€

  41. February 19, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Bearsy: δ»Šζ™©γ―γ€€η†Šγ•γ‚“γ€‚γ€€γŠε…ƒζ°—γ§γ™γ‹γ€‚

  42. February 19, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Danke, Ich bin gut heute abend, Kumpel. πŸ˜†

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