From The Soaraway Sun*:
The 'No' vote last night soared to a seven-point lead in a Sun YouGov survey. Forty-one per cent said they want to stick to the current 'first past the post system', while 34 per cent want to change it to the complicated Alternative Vote.
So semi-literate Sun readers can manage to find their favoured candidate on a ballot paper and mark an "x", but finding their favoured candidate and marking it with "1" is beyond them? Maybe even the few borderline literate-numerate Sun readers might even manage to mark their favoured candidate with a "1" and then mark their second choice with "2"?
As Neil Harding explains:
If you ever said to someone going to the shops - "Get me a coke or if they haven't got that, I'll have a lemonade", then you understand the principle behind AV voting. It only sounds complicated if you explain it badly, which the No campaigners are doing on purpose (finding the most wordy academic text they can).
He duly extends the analogy**:
If you order a chicken curry at a restaurant, but are told that has sold out then decide to have a lasagne instead, you have only had one meal. The same is true for AV, only ONE of your preferences will count towards the end result. Don't be fooled by propaganda saying otherwise.
* Spotted by Denis Cooper, who's firmly in the AV camp.
** For the benefit of Sun readers, an "analogy" is a simple example used to explain something, and has nothing to do with the study of people's bottoms.
PS, if you have ever attended a count, you'll know that the extra work involved with AV would be fairly minimal. Under FPTP, tellers make a pile of ballot slips for each candidate (in bundles of twenty or something) and then the biggest pile wins (they count them again, under the eyes of the candidates, if it looks fairly close).
The same basic system would apply under AV, only if no candidate gets more than half the first choice votes (which will happen in most constituencies), they'll just grab the smallest pile and redistribute it; and then the next smallest pile and so on. Mathematically, it's unlikely that more than the thirty or forty per cent of the ballot papers would have to be picked up more than once or twice, and as there will only be a few dozen or a couple of hundred in the smallest piles, that's no big deal.
Apart from a few dedicted anarcho-democrats who rank all candidates in reverse order of how likely they are to be elected, I doubt sorely whether most people will use more than their first and second votes, which reduces the amount of re-allocating even further.
PPS, I can only assume that Rupert Murdoch (who owns The Sun newspaper) has established that he's happy 'doing business with' a Labour government or a Tory-led government, but doesn't have the time or inclination to have to 'do business with' (i.e. bully and bribe) a load of smaller parties as well.
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
From The Soaraway Sun*: