Any Answers to the Alternative Vote Referendum – John Symons Says Yes – Guest Post

One of our colleagues from Aberdeen writes to the BBC Any Answers team as part of their coverage of the Alternative Vote Referendum putting the case for the Alternative Vote succinctly.

Dear Any Answers Team,
Last night Margaret Beckett trotted out the irrelevant truism that some votes count more than others under AV. Of course they do: the only system under which all votes count the same is PR.
The important point is that more votes count under AV than under First Past The Post. Under First Past The Post, the only votes that count are those that bring the winner 1 vote past the runner up, typically around one third of the votes cast. AV ensures that at least 50% of votes are reflected in the selection of the MP.
No To AV supporters are terrified that the additional approximately one sixth of votes that will count under AV will remove the unfair advantage currently held by their party. This motivates all their arguments, most of which are spurious.
Having mentioned PR, I have no patience with those who will vote No because AV is not PR. They are cutting off their nose to spite their face. Having chosen AV and its advantages being more widely appreciated, the electorate is likely to ask “Why don’t we reflect the FIRST preference of EVERY voter in the composition of the parliament?”.
Yours sincerely,
John Symons
(phone numbers supplied but deleted on forwarding to Edinburgh YTFV)

About fairervotesedinburgh

The unofficial blog for the Yes to Fairer Votes Campaign in Edinburgh. All views expressed are our own and do not necessisarily represent the views of the official Yes to Fairer Votes organisation
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One Response to Any Answers to the Alternative Vote Referendum – John Symons Says Yes – Guest Post

  1. our Maurice says:

    Preferentiality is a key principle in its own right, that merits winning in its own right. This stands independently of PR. PR is another principle. Whenever PR systems do not include the AV style of preferentiality (counted from bottom up not top down), that is a visible flaw in them. Every PR system would visibly be made better by amendment to become preferential in the AV style, so as to remove the split vote problem and to prevent far right victories happening because of divided opposition.

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