3 thoughts on “Another great explanation of AV

  1. Um, except that this is a piece of slight of hand worthy of a “only we can win here” leaflet from the Lib Dems – surely the real options are either “pub vs coffee shop” (both generic, 70/30 split in favour of the pub option) or (say) “NLT / Black Lion / Good Ship / Green Man / Costa / Starbucks / Local independent coffee shop” (all specific, quite possibly 2/2/2/1/1/1/1).

    At least this is an example of one side trying to put forward a positive argument for their side, though, instead of inaccurate scaremongering about the other side. I really can’t recall a campaign in which I despaired quite so badly of both sides’ arguments and campaigning methods – perhaps this reflects a lack of enthusiasm on both sides for the “miserable little compromise” of AV?

  2. In many ways though, Neil, the deeper split on the pub side than on the coffee shop side is a reflection of British politics. We have a lot more parties on the left than the right, and often the right win because the left is divided.

    In Scotland, for instance, the five parties in parliament contain four broadly of the centre-left and one of the centre-right.

    So it’s quite possible that people may “gang up” around a single candidate in certain constituencies (witness UKIP not standing against anti-EU Conservative candidates, for instance), with ideological opposites being quite divided.

    The analogy of the video is quite right to point out that elections could look very different if people had the ability transfer to similar candidates if their favourite is eliminated or has no chance.

  3. Hmmm, OK, I can see that – though I’m still not convinced about the way the analogy is presented. My original post was perhaps a little heavy-handed in its criticism [and I’ve just noticed that I wrote “slight of hand” rather than “sleight of hand” -oops], though I think this is largely due to my weariness with the way the campaign has been conducted, as your latest post reflects (I haven’t read it in detail yet, but have scanned through it. I can only say that I am impressed that you can still be astonished by any literature produced in relation to this referendum.) I would argue both sides have been guilty of presenting distortions, falsehoods and scare tactics in a bid to make an emotional appeal rather than building a positive case for their option, but No2AV do seem to be far worse in this respect. Perhaps the ASA could be persuaded to take a look at some of the claims that have been made on hoardings and so on, if the Electoral Commission aren’t able/willing so to do? Or will some clever person find some arcane piece of legislation with which to have an election court convened?

    It’s quite an unusual experience for me to be a “floating voter” in this way, and I have to say, the way in which the campaign has been conducted has made it far more difficult to make up my mind – I wonder if my partisanship in other elections blinds me to the fact that they’re just as bad? FWIW, I’d say I’m leaning towards a YES vote, though not 100% sold yet.

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