From the NO campaign

The free post NO leaflet arrived this morning; rather late for us as we have already voted by post!

It makes some telling points on the cost of AV. though, to be fair, I don’t see why counting machines would always be needed in single member constituencies like to ones we have now. I’m rather interested in whether such a scheme could be/would be used in local elections too. On multi-member wards like ours you could have easily 13 or more candidates for 3 seats. Counting  first past the post is complicated enough with cross voting every which way.

The leaflet also points out that major party votes are for candidates who come first will only count if they get 50% on the first round. If they don’t (and with lots of parties it’s increasingly unlikely that anyone will) the votes of extremist parties’ supporters get to be counted as many times as it takes to get someone over 50%. This could easily be three times, even where there are only five candidates for a single seat. The statement that the person ultimately elected has the support of more than half the voters is a mathematical statement, not a political one. How real is your support for your second choice, let alone your third or fourth? So talk about ‘fairer votes’ is eyewash – period!

I can see why the Lib Dems are aggrieved about the attacks on Nick Clegg. There he is on a page entitled ‘AV leads to broken promises’ holding his tuition fees pledge from last year. Very painful subject for Lib Dem candidates!! What they mean is it’s more likely to lead to Coalition governments, where no party can actually deliver on its manifesto to the voters, only on the deals it brokers after the election with its Coalition partners. Naive people think that ‘parties being forced to work together’ is a good thing. Those of us with experience of trying to put this into practice know better.


About pauljohnston

Elected as Conservative councillor in Surbiton Hill, Kingston upon Thames in 1998. Re-elected 2002 and 2006. Former parliamentary candidate in Lancashire and Birmingham. Ceased to be a Councillor (temporarily?) in 2010. Active among Residents' Associations in Surbiton Hill and among residents in social housing generally. Former teacher of History at St. Brendan's College Bristol and Head of History and Politics at the London Oratory School. Worked with Sutton Trust running summer schools for sixth formers at Oxford University from 1997-2000 aiming to improve uptake of places from pupils from state schools which sent very few applicants to Oxbridge.
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