Post Number 1000 On The Tap

Iain Dale recently celebrated his 10,000th post on his blog. That’s about 2000 a year. He works hard, you might say.

My more modest contribution is to chalk up 1000 posts in 3.5 years (with gaps!) and maybe to write an average of one a day.

I was getting confused about how AV voting works, so I looked it up on Google. If you want an explanation too, here it is.

How AV works – from the Electoral Reform website

The Alternative Vote (AV)

For more detailed information about AV:
Regulations for the election of one person by means of the single transferable vote (Alternative Vote)

How the System Works:

The same constituency boundaries are used and voters would elect one person to represent them in parliament, just as we do now. However, rather than marking an ‘X’ against their preferred candidate, each voter would rank their candidates in an order of preference, putting ‘1’ next to their favourite, a ‘2’ by their second choice and so on. If a candidate receives a majority of first place votes, he or she would be elected just as under the present system. However if no single candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, the second choices for the candidate at the bottom are redistributed. The process is repeated until one candidate gets an absolute majority. The alternative vote is not actually a proportional system, but a majoritarian system. It looks most similar to the current electoral system.

The system is used:
in the Australian House of Representatives

Arguments used in favour:

The alternative vote retains the same constituencies and so the bond between members and their constituents is not lost.
Extreme parties would be unlikely to gain support by AV and coalition governments would be no more likely to arise than they are under First-Past-The-Post.
All MPs would have the support of a majority of their constituents.
It prevents MPs being elected on a minority of the vote. In 2005, only 34% of British MPs were elected by more then 50% of the votes in their constituencies. This is a decline from 2001, when half of MPs could claim 50% support of their constituents.
It removes the need for negative voting. Electors can vote for their first choice of candidate without the fear of wasting their vote.

Weaknesses:

Whilst it does ensure than the successful candidate is supported by a majority of his or her constituents, it does not give proportionality to parties or other bodies of opinion, in parliament. Research by Democratic Audit in 1997 showed that the results could actually be even more distorting than under First-Past-The-Post.
It also does very little to give a voice to those who have been traditionally under-represented in parliament.
There is no transfer of powers from party authority to the voters, and it does not produce a proportional parliament.

I should repeat this is copied, and not my own writing.

The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.
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4 Responses to “Post Number 1000 On The Tap”

  1. ScotsToryB says:

    ‘However if no single candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, the second choices for the candidate at the bottom are redistributed’.

    I understand what you mean but it is not what you say.
    Try: the second choices of the top two candidates are redistributed according to the second choices of everyone. Ergo, the second choices of anyone who has not necessarily voted for the most popular candidate are more important than the majority’s first choice.

    Total nonsense. On sticks. With a clown hat.
    Let’s all use our second vote for democracy!

    Que?

    ‘Whilst it does ensure than the successful candidate is supported by a majority of his or her constituents, it does not give proportionality to parties or other bodies of opinion, in parliament. Research by Democratic Audit in 1997 showed that the results could actually be even more distorting than under First-Past-The-Post.
    It also does very little to give a voice to those who have been traditionally under-represented in parliament.
    There is no transfer of powers from party authority to the voters, and it does not produce a proportional parliament’.

    –should have been your opening paragraph.

    STB.

  2. tapestry says:

    Good comment ScotsToryB. I’m learning all the time.

  3. thedarknight says:

    Congratulations on the milestone Tap. Personally I could do with less of the common purpose stuff, I think it’s codswallop, but your blog’s a regular read and always entertaining. Your one of very few optimistic euroscpetics, I think it’s been a problem for us for a while that there aren’t more. Here’s a picture of a Greek burning the Ring of Fire to cheer you up.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/greeks-take-to-the-streets-to-protest-fiscal-restraint-2010-2

  4. tapestry says:

    point taken thedarknight. good picture which i’ve used on previous post.

    as for cp, a secret organisation which networks across government, which has unknown objectives, with an element of paedophile associations…

    real evil hides. keep an open mind.

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