Referendum on AV (Alternative Voting)

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Grandad
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Referendum on AV (Alternative Voting)

Post by Grandad » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:45 am

In May, UK residents will have the opportunity to make their preference known in a referendum on whether we should change from a majority vote winner in each constituency or the AV system which requires at least 50% of votes to be declared the winner, after adding second, third, and fourth etc choices.

It all sounds a bit of a headache to me for the counting process, especially if there are a dozen or so candidates. The Lib Dems obviously prefer it because there is no doubt that it would boost their number of MP's.

I remain in the 'one man one vote' camp but am yet to be convinced otherwise. What are your views?


:gg:

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Post by Horus » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:51 pm

I'm with you on the first past the post Grandad, with the AV system there is to much complexity, lots of people cannot figure out who to vote for with the existing system let alone one that means your vote is also used to calculate a winner that may not be your real choice.

However I do think that the number of MPs should be reduced and the influence they have should reflect the wishes of the electorate and not the party line. So a candidate should have to set out their views on many more subjects such as care for the elderly, immigration, integration, membership of the EU, civil rights, religion, law and order, fox hunting, death penalty and anything else that may be relevant at the time.

Once elected that MP must vote in the manner in which he/she was elected and not on party lines. So if we take for example the restoration of the death penalty, if a vote was to be taken at any time, they must vote either for it or against it according to how they stood at election and not by conscience as they do now.
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Post by Christine » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:02 pm

I agree with both of the above, one man one vote is often the only way we have of speaking up, not in voice but by vote.

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Post by Grandad » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:37 pm

Something that many people might miss when it comes to deciding in May is that under AV, your lower preferences could, by the stacking up method, actually count as a FULL vote for someone you didn't really want.

No wonder the Lib Dems want it......they could win many seats where neither they nor the Tories or Labour (or anyone else) has quite reached the 50% minimum. In many cases the redistribution of votes would give them the seat. It has been estimated that they would have won nearly 100 seats in the last May election under AV.

I think it could mean a lot more coalitions in the future if it is introduced.
:gg:

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Post by Horus » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:41 pm

I agree Grandad :) and would much rather see a first past the post government, but preferably with just enough seats to pass general changes without them having huge majorities as the last series of Labour & Tory governments often had.
Far better that they have to convince all their MPs in order to get something through the commons rather than just forcing it through without real consultation.
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Post by JOJO » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:26 pm

Well I will not be voting for the AV system and the ONLY reason for this is to stick my middle finger up at Cleggy. I was one of those people that was a taken in by the liar and voted for him! :x :x
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Post by Horus » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:46 pm

That is as good a reason as any JoJo, :) when you vote for a politician of any party you expect them to stick with their promises.
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Post by Grandad » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:30 pm

I would like to see candidates publish their own personal manifesto at election time relevant to the wishes of their constituents. And then be answerable to those who elected them to explain if they go to divisions and follow the party line and NOT their own manifesto if that differs. :)

That would make them accountable to those that they are are supposed to represent and not necessarily the dictats of party leaders.

I suppose that would make them all 'Independents'.......at least they would more likely vote with their conscience and not what the whips say...

:) :) :)
:gg:

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Post by LovelyLadyLux » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:41 am

One man one vote. You get 100% to the person of you choice. You can't start dividing up your vote. That kinda waters it down.

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Post by Morgita » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:18 pm

AV will still allow voters to stick with one man one vote if preferred. It is not mandatory to provide second or third preferences. The sticking point for me is that it is likely to be the LibDems who benefit as Labour supporters will not give second preference to Conservatives and vice versa. It might however push the candidates to give more consideration to real local issues as the electorate will be more likely to be swayed to give a second vote to someone with local issues at heart regardless of party affiliations. I can't agree with Horus about tying down the MP to vote in specific ways. You might as well elect a pre-programmed robot. There has to be a degree of flexibility particularly in respect of matters of conscience such as the death penalty. Personally I could never vote in favour of the death penalty so would be prevented from standing for public office. Representation should always be from as wide a base as possible and should attract people of integrity who are not afraid to state their view, popular or not. This is a large part of our problem with the political process in Britain. We have a preponderance of privately educated Oxbridge graduates from wealthy backgrounds who are "passionate" about whatever the latest media manager tells them to be "passionate" about. Twenty or so years in Parliament and on to directorships in the city. It's a well trodden path and hardly breeds politicians who understand or care about real people.

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Post by Grandad » Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:45 pm

I agree with most of what you say Morgita, particularly when it comes to having the strength of character to vote with your conscience and not necessarily the party line.

I must confess that I did not know that there was an option and that you could still just vote for one candidate if you so choose. I still believe that it will be a long counting process if there are say 8 or more candidates.

It therefore sounds very likely that many will just use one vote which will bring into question why bother to change.
:gg:

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Post by Horus » Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:56 pm

Morgita, you have misunderstood me, I was not advocating that someone should not vote according to their conscience, but rather that their conscience should not become mine also.

If for example they were to stand on a no return of the death penalty manifesto, then that is OK as I could then decide not to vote for that candidate if I felt strongly about the issue. However this is not a debate about the death penalty, that was just an example, my point was clarification of what platform they were standing on. Once that was known then they should not be voting along party lines in a division should that be contrary to what they had told their electorate when campaigning. I had thought that my post made it clear that I was advocating they vote for the things they were elected to support and not what the party told them to, strong personal beliefs are fine as long as the electorate knew that they held them when they voted for them.

One example I would give was if I knew that a certain candidate had strong religious beliefs, then I may not wish to vote for them as they may well be influenced not by normal every day events, but rather on some religious dogma they adhere too. So issues such as abortion, homosexuality, contraception etc. that may be the views of a particular religious body, should have no place in secular politics and they would not necessarily be acting on conscience, rather expressing the views of another person whether that be the Archbishop, the Pope or a Mullah.

I agree about people having integrity and being able to state their views, however they are not elected by people so that they can state their own views, they are elected to represent the views of the people who elected them.
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Post by Grandad » Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:22 pm

I think this word 'conscience' is leading to wrong interpretations here. I have also used the word but, like Horus, I mean going with the wishes of your constituents and not necessarily the 'party line'.

The conscience in this case is in being a MEMBER of a political party but going against the partys' policy on specific issues knowing that you are representing the views of your constituents.

I suppose the bottom line would be to allow all MP's to have a free vote on ALL divisions but, as I said earlier, that would move away from party politics and more towards individuals representing as independents......

I DO think that most politicians, particularly Tories, are out of touch with PEOPLE. Most have had a privileged upbringing and in their arrogance believe they know best and can impose their decisions on society.
:gg:

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Post by Horus » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:23 pm

I think I can agree with 99% of that Grandad :)
But don't you think that many years ago now, we did have more 'independant' politicians, in the sense that they would offer to resign before prostituting their principles and just towing the party line?
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