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What is the Alternative Vote, aka AV?What is the Alternative Vote, aka AV?

On May 5th 2011, there will be a referendum on whether or not to change the British voting system, from First Past The Post to the Alternative Vote. This video explains simply and clearly how AV works. It is conceptually a bit more complicated than FPTP, but probably fairer with the added benefit of requiring MPs to appeal to a broader base.

POLL: The Alternative Vote
How did you vote on the 2011 referendum on AV? Actual result: The No vote won overwhelmingly with 68%.
Yes to AV
55%
No to AV
45%

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Guest: No to AV (1313 days ago)
AV does not end "Tactical voting!" AV CAN ONLY ENCOURAGE TACTICAL VOTING
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AV does not end "Tactical voting!" AV CAN ONLY ENCOURAGE TACTICAL VOTING
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (1313 days ago)
You can vote for the party you want, or you can vote tactically - which usually means voting for a party you don't want, to keep out another party you don't want. Under FPTP, if you vote tactically, that was your only vote - a vote for a party you didn't want. Under AV, you have the opportunity to also support a party you do want. A similar thing happens with fringe parties. Under FPTP, a vote for a fringe party is a wasted vote. Under AV, it is not.
Original comment
You can vote for the party you want, or you can vote tactically - which usually means voting for a party you don't want, to keep out another party you don't want. Under FPTP, if you vote tactically, that was your only vote - a vote for a party you didn't want. Under AV, you have the opportunity to also support a party you do want. A similar thing happens with fringe parties. Under FPTP, a vote for a fringe party is a wasted vote. Under AV, it is not.
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Guest:  (1316 days ago)
A friend, without quite knowing why took a series of pictures of a tree which started as a fine specimen. It was damaged by a storm and the council botched the cleanup. They then botched the pruning designed to fix the first job and finally, after another savaging, cut the tree down. I suggested he print the series and call it "English Oak". I think we are nearing the final cut.
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A friend, without quite knowing why took a series of pictures of a tree which started as a fine specimen. It was damaged by a storm and the council botched the cleanup. They then botched the pruning designed to fix the first job and finally, after another savaging, cut the tree down. I suggested he print the series and call it "English Oak". I think we are nearing the final cut.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (1313 days ago)
AV makes politics more interesting. It will encourage people to find out more about the other candidates. Over time it may even lead to a more informed public.
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AV makes politics more interesting. It will encourage people to find out more about the other candidates. Over time it may even lead to a more informed public.
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Guest: don't think so (1315 days ago)
Vote for AV if you want to see the Lib Dems in permanent coalition government with either the Conservatives or Labour tossers.
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Vote for AV if you want to see the Lib Dems in permanent coalition government with either the Conservatives or Labour tossers.
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Guest:  (1314 days ago)
Standard FPTP lies. Give it up.
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Standard FPTP lies. Give it up.
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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1314 days ago)
AV is only concerned with how we decide which parties win seats in parliament. Each seat will still only be led by one party. So for me living in Lambeth in London, under the current system I would vote for the party I want to run Lambeth. Under AV I would vote for the party I want to run Lambeth, but if they don't get in, then my second choice counts. I think AV is better because I care who runs Lambeth if my first choice doesn't win. I think most people would prefer one party over another if their first choice did not win.
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AV is only concerned with how we decide which parties win seats in parliament. Each seat will still only be led by one party. So for me living in Lambeth in London, under the current system I would vote for the party I want to run Lambeth. Under AV I would vote for the party I want to run Lambeth, but if they don't get in, then my second choice counts. I think AV is better because I care who runs Lambeth if my first choice doesn't win. I think most people would prefer one party over another if their first choice did not win.
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Filmaddict Filmaddict (1315 days ago)
We will never know which party would be in government now, with the AV system, but I suspect it would not be the Conservative Party. Personally, I think all three main parties are rubbish!
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We will never know which party would be in government now, with the AV system, but I suspect it would not be the Conservative Party. Personally, I think all three main parties are rubbish!
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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1314 days ago)
AV will not make it more likely for an extreme party to win a seat, but (because second choices count) it does mean that all parties will have to appeal to a broader base to increase their chances. Surely that's a good thing.
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AV will not make it more likely for an extreme party to win a seat, but (because second choices count) it does mean that all parties will have to appeal to a broader base to increase their chances. Surely that's a good thing.
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Filmaddict Filmaddict (1309 days ago)
There are pros and cons to both systems, but to appeal to a broader base would just make all the parties more alike, thereby reducing our choice and that is not a good thing at all!
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There are pros and cons to both systems, but to appeal to a broader base would just make all the parties more alike, thereby reducing our choice and that is not a good thing at all!
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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1304 days ago)
I don't think AV does reduce choice. FPTP leads to two party politics. Fringe parties are a wasted vote. This is the choice we have now. AV gives more relevance to fringe parties. They are not more likely to win power, but they force the main parties to consider a wider range of issues. I agree that both systems have their pros and cons, but I'd sum it up like this: FPTP is more like a dictatorship, AV is more like majority rule.
Original comment
I don't think AV does reduce choice. FPTP leads to two party politics. Fringe parties are a wasted vote. This is the choice we have now. AV gives more relevance to fringe parties. They are not more likely to win power, but they force the main parties to consider a wider range of issues. I agree that both systems have their pros and cons, but I'd sum it up like this: FPTP is more like a dictatorship, AV is more like majority rule.
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Filmaddict Filmaddict (1304 days ago)
Latest comment: I personally don't think AV is a good enough system. There must be other choices that the LD's could have insisted upon. What would be very interesting is for the next election to use the FPTP system (one person one vote), but permit the AV as an experiment only i.e. choosing 1st, 2nd and 3rd etc options.
Original comment
Latest comment: I personally don't think AV is a good enough system. There must be other choices that the LD's could have insisted upon. What would be very interesting is for the next election to use the FPTP system (one person one vote), but permit the AV as an experiment only i.e. choosing 1st, 2nd and 3rd etc options.
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