AV

Apr. 15th, 2011 09:06 am
zotz: (Default)
[personal profile] zotz
Apparently it's not just me that finds the Yes campaign shittier than I'm happy supporting.

Date: 2011-04-15 08:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nisaba.livejournal.com
I dunno, it's not great but I find the scare tactics of the No vote ("this baby will die because the money to save it is going to AV!^^£$£!!") more disgusting.

Date: 2011-04-15 09:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zenithed.livejournal.com
This. I wish they'd spend five minutes explaining the differences rather than being all emotive about it.

Both sides are lying -- Part one

Date: 2011-04-15 11:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fizzyboot.livejournal.com
I think part of the reason for this is that both campaigns are to some extent being dishonest. I think the no campaign are more dishonest, but I'm not an unbiased observer, since I'm part of the yes campaign.

The actual mechanics of AV are fairly simple to explain (my effort is here). The advantages of AV versus FPTP are more complex, but to my mind the most important one is that AV satisfies the independence of clones criterion.

To see why independence of clones is important, consider a new, initially small, party that is created to address issues that none of the big parties care about. Under FPTP, any votes this new party gets will predominantly come from other candidates who more favour the new party's policies, meaning that those candidates will be less likely to win, and that by standing, the new party are actually likely to reduce the number of MPs elected who agree with their principles. But under AV, this won't happen since voters could vote for the new party with their first preference, and other candidates with their lower preferences.

Thus under FPTP, new parties will be discouraged, and under AV encouraged. Even if they don't win any seats, if they got lots of first preference votes, it would have an effect on policy; consider if you're an MP who got 25% of first preferences and won becauese of the lower preferences of people who voted Green or UKIP or Pirate for their higher preferences -- obviously any MP is going to bear that in mind if they want to get re-elected.

So, how are they lying?

Supporters of FPTP know that this leads to two big parties with everyone else getting crowded out. There are a few principled people who aren't supporting AV because it isn't PR. Apart from them the main support for FPTP comes from Conservative and (to a lesser extent) Labour MPs, which is not surprising given that FPTP props up the Conservative and Labour parties.

Their inner belief, which is also their argument against PR, is roughly as follows: FPTP is good because it allows us, the {Conservative/Labour} Party, to have untramelled power in Britain on just over a third of the vote, because we're the authentic voices of {middle England / the working class}, even if it does allow the other lot to {impose loony left policies and profligate spending / inflict Thatcherite cuts blighting whole communities} for a decade, because even though the other lot's policies are bad, it's not us who'll personally suffer, merely our core supporters.

Now obviously the no camp can't say that in so many words, because no-one would vote for them.


Unfortunately LJ won't let me post all of this message since there is a limit on message length (a problem that doesn't exist with my MeowCat website) -- so I'll have to post part two separately.

Re: Both sides are lying -- Part two

Date: 2011-04-15 11:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fizzyboot.livejournal.com
What about the pro-AV camp? Their arguments are also not entirely truthful. They say FPTP encourages MPs to be lazy and fiddle their expenses. But most MPs aren't lazy -- they typically work long hours, and stood for parliament in the first place because they genuinely wanted to make a difference for the better. The second part of their claim is on stronger ground: it is statistically proven that MPs with safe seats are more likely to be corrupt, and AV is likely to make seats less safe.

Many AV supporters are Liberal Democrats and their inner beliefs about AV are roughly as follows: We don't actually support AV, it's a "miserable little compromise" that was the most that we were able to extract out of the Conservatives in the coalition negotiations. If AV wins, it'll help us, since Liberal Democrats will pick up lots of lower preference votes (Tory supporters hate us less than Labour; Labour supporters hate us less than the Tories). This will mean there will be more Lib Dem MPs in future parlaiments, so in future we'll bre able to demand proportional representation (what we really want) in coalition negotiations.

It's equally obvious why the yes camp aren't publicly saying that.

TL;DR: both sides are dishonest, the no campaign more so than the yes campaign. AV is however a better system than FPTP, because it gives the voters more real choice.

Re: Both sides are lying -- Part two

From: [identity profile] zotz.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-04-15 11:51 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Both sides are lying -- Part two

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Re: Both sides are lying -- Part two

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Re: Both sides are lying -- Part one

Date: 2011-04-16 01:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zotz.livejournal.com
Actually, Phil, this is exactly what I'm complaining about. If you can't discuss the issues without accusing people of dishonesty, then kindly avoid discussing them with me, because if you can't avoid gratuitous abuse then I'm not really interested in your opinion. As far as this LJ goes, if the subject comes up again I'm going to delete posts like this - by you or anyone else - without warning or explanation. As Thee Ackurssed Witchipedia puts it, Assume Good Faith Or Prepare For A Boot Up The Arse.

And for your information, Scotland had a four-party system under FPTP.

Date: 2011-04-15 09:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zotz.livejournal.com
It's not like I was ever going to vote for them, though.

AV isn't greatly better than what we've got, but I would certainly be willing to vote for it if I didn't feel I was implicitly giving approval to, and therefore encouraging, this kind of campaigning.

It's not sufficiently better that I'm sure I'm now willing to vote for it.

Date: 2011-04-15 09:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nisaba.livejournal.com
By the same token, aren't you implicitly giving approval and ancouraging the tactics of the No campaign by voting No? Unless you're not voting at all.

Personally I feel AV is a first step in the right direction, it'll show that the public has an appetite for change, and even a small step is better than what we've got now. And I'm ignoring both campaigns.



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Date: 2011-04-15 12:22 pm (UTC)
ext_79424: Line drawing of me, by me (Default)
From: [identity profile] spudtater.livejournal.com
Err... what?

I can understand this attitude when it comes to political parties — if Labour (say) runs a vicious, negative campaign, then we can infer that their candidates are vicious, cynical bastards who don't deserve office.

But AV is not an organisation, it is an idea. Whether it passes or fails, the "Yes to AV" campaign will promptly evaporate. Voting for or against AV will not give the Yes campaigners any more or any less power.

So at the very most you're making a vague point to politicians in general... IF they connect your lack of vote to a failure in the campaign.

Plus, by saying no to AV you will be reducing your ability to demonstrate your discontent in future. Want to punish Labour for the aforementioned negative campaigning, but still scared of the Tories getting in? AV is your solution.

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Date: 2011-04-15 08:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zeecat.livejournal.com
Yeah, that video was a bit off. Campaign or not, though, I think instant runoff stands on its own merits.

Date: 2011-04-15 09:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] steer.livejournal.com
Hmm... if that video is enough to put you off voting I guess your options are eyes shut or not voting.

Date: 2011-04-15 09:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zotz.livejournal.com
Indeed, although it's not just that that I don't like about their campaign.

Date: 2011-04-15 09:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] steer.livejournal.com
Ah well... since you're unlikely to be voting in an election again I guess the voting system makes less difference to you.

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Date: 2011-04-15 09:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoti.livejournal.com
I think my friend Katie summed it up best when she was complaining that the only positive campaign she'd seen had been from UKIP.

Date: 2011-04-15 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valkyriekaren.livejournal.com
The tactics on both sides are appalling - including David Cameron's frankly insulting 'thinkpiece' (massive free NO ad) in the Evening Standard.

The problem is that voting systems are seen, rightly or wrongly, as a dry intellectual issue, and most political campaigners seem to believe that even relatively simple statistics would be totally lost on 'the man in the street'. So the tactic is to look for an emotional 'in'.

Date: 2011-04-15 10:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zotz.livejournal.com
As opposed to, in this case, an emotional Out.

Date: 2011-04-15 12:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fizzyboot.livejournal.com
The problem is that voting systems are seen, rightly or wrongly, as a dry intellectual issue,


It's an intellectual issue, but not a dry one -- it's vitally important. The voting system determines who gets elected, which in turn determines all the other systems, so it's one system to rule them all.

political campaigners seem to believe that even relatively simple statistics would be totally lost on 'the man in the street'. So the tactic is to look for an emotional 'in'.


Indeed. I do think both campaigns are targetted at people who're too lazy to think. Maybe they're underestimating the British people. Or maybe not.

Date: 2011-04-15 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fizzyboot.livejournal.com
LJ doesn't let you edit your messages. Bollocks.

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Date: 2011-04-15 10:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grendelis.livejournal.com
Ah, the UK is actually debating and having a vote on alternative voting systems. About time. I have really enjoyed NZ's MMP system. Although it can be frustrating when the main party gets hijacked by some silly one issue independent or small party, or won't work with who you want them to. But it all brings more colour and variety into parliament... well, it did. Not sure what's happened just now... it's all got a little dull again. We've lost our trans-gender MP, our Rasta MP and our fun crazy. Back to the sad gits just now. But hey, you get patches like that.

I wish you all the best, I hope the UK takes a risk for change. It involves working together more, but it also reflects the country more. Just don't have elections every few years like the US, sheesh, never get anything really done, they really are fat cats doing nowt.

Date: 2011-04-15 10:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emarkienna.livejournal.com
The Yes campaign portrays MPs as lazy; the No campaign portrays the entire electorate as idiots. Yes it's a cheap shop, though I feel it's fair game - and helps convey the image of FPTP being the system that the politicians want to keep. IIRC, the MPs in the advert all wore "No" stickers on them? Okay, of course just because someone supports the No campaign doesn't mean they're a lazy MP, but it doesn't mean Labout Yes campaigners are handing leaflets that insult themselves (they might criticise other MPs - but then that's every political leaflet I've ever seen).

Whilst there are some inaccurate claims being made by Yes To Fairer votes, I don't see why they are the first ones to get coverage from the BBC on this issue, what with all the lies, hypocrisy and scaremongering being pumped out by No2AV... all I've seen from that is the very neutral "No campaign say it will cost £250 million ... Yes campaign say it won't" etc.

I'm also more concerned about the inaccuracy rather than feeling sorry for some MPs - yes, it's a fair point that it's wrong to link FPTP to things like the expenses stuff, but I'm less bothered about it being insulting to MPs. Or at least, it seemed no different to the standard mockery we get in elections, or any other kind of criticism given by others, be it the media, satire, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Yes campaign could be improved - more emphasis on explaining that AV means you get to rate your preferences; they could have shouted a bit louder how it's basically what the parties use for their leadership elections, and mentioned that David Cameron would have lost under FPTP...

In terms of endorsing a campaign - my own view is that even if I didn't vote, if No ends up winning, it will still be an endorsement of their campaign, even if I personally didn't help vote towards it. Which (aside from the fact that I'd prefer AV independent of any campaigns) means I even more want to vote Yes, as even though I don't like everything about the Yes campaign, I still hate No's tactics far more.

Date: 2011-04-15 11:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emarkienna.livejournal.com
...another thought I had: I do like that we do have this self-criticism among Yes supporters. The particularly deceitful thing I think would be if Labour MPs were secretly funding a campaign that was mocking all MPs as lazy - I can see that being rather unfair, pushing an argument that they presumably don't believe in. But instead, they're saying the argument isn't fair, which itself is a good thing. I'd be a lot happier about the No campaign if a Tory No supporter stood up and said to Cameron's "It lets the loser win" talk etc, "Hang on a minute, that's not fair, that would make Cameron the loser in our leadership elections". Or similarly coming clean about referendum costs not being the costs of AV; or whether they plan to use voting machines. Maybe they have, and I just haven't seen it...

(I also wonder why Labour doesn't produce its own Yes material - or is it a funding issue, because it's only being supported by individual MPs, not as a party?)

Date: 2011-04-15 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zotz.livejournal.com
The party as a whole doesn't have a consensus view.

Date: 2011-04-15 12:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fizzyboot.livejournal.com
It's a fair point that it's wrong to link FPTP to things like the expenses stuff


I disagree -- there's actual evidence that FPTP contributed to the expenses scandal.

Date: 2011-04-15 11:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rasilon-x.livejournal.com
I got severly pissed off by the "For God's sake say so." campaign, but in the end, I put "No religion" on its own merits, despite grumbling about it. I think this is much the same.

Date: 2011-04-15 11:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valkyriekaren.livejournal.com
Did you? Why?

(Sort-of disclaimer: I used to work for the British Humanist Association and was there when the slogan was originally chosen, though the choice was not anything to do with me)

Date: 2011-04-15 11:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rasilon-x.livejournal.com
Mainly it had to do with other arguments around the same time to do with people turning atheism into a religion.Fundamentally, my reason was that no religion means exactly that, so it wasn't for God's sake at all and that the slogan was potentially undoing the dissociation between religion and atheism.

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