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On 19 Apr 2011 at 6:45am Paul Newman wrote:
Yesterday`s U Gov Poll , if repeated looks like the end of the road for AV with the No`s 16 % ahead .This was what I hoped for . In fact Yes has been marginally ahead for a year but now people start to find out what AV really is they clearly see how it is designed to create endless Lib Dem dominated coalition and that spells the end of accountable administrations. Labour remember are , at the same time on the wrong end of the massive boundary fix that will lose them yet more seats .
With the Liberals on 15%( better than recently ) I doubt they will force a general election . Cameron will move swiftly to reform the House of Lords which is likely to end up 80% PR elected .
Over time this mandate will inevitably empower the Upper House balancing our over mighty executive and going some way to representing Liberals who do , lets face it , get a raw deal pure numerical terms
That will be an evolution in the British tradition and the best possible outcome. One only hopes that the Lib Dems a Party not famed for its humility can accept the democratically expressed wishes of the people.
For the Green Party this would be the best outcome . In fact their National support is so small that no system makes much odds but I do see a future for environmentalism which might find suitable expression in an empowered reforming upper house. AV , as I have explained , would kill it stone dead as it has done in Australia where the Greens are indeed powerful in the PR elected Upper House .

On 19 Apr 2011 at 8:30am Vesbod wrote:
Wishful thinking Paul. It's going to be a very big YES !
On 19 Apr 2011 at 10:46am Clifford wrote:
How strange. Paul Newman posts the result of an opinion poll that suggests the tide is running against AV. Like or like it not, but it is evidence of a shift in opinion. And Vesbod says the poll is wrong, but provides no evidence.
On 19 Apr 2011 at 10:57am Paul Newman wrote:
Clifford ,it was internet chatter yesterday, that I thought might interest some one .When I got to the station this AM though I see it is the front page of the Guardian ( with the chilling news that Americas credit rating is under threat)
As so often my attempts to be clever have crossed the line into stupid (or redundant and tedious at least ), anyway there it is.
Not a word about the whole subject from Norman Baker I notice.
On 19 Apr 2011 at 11:16am MC wrote:
The Tories have forced the vote to be on the wrong issue, not PR as it should have been but on the inferior AV. Couple that with the timing of the vote (with local elections) and the boundary changes and it is simple to see that they have done as much as possible to obfuscate the issue and thwart a nice clear simple and uncomplicated vote. Couple this with a far-too-powerful commercially driven and unprincipled media that knows full well that it will have much more power over a single large governing party than it would over PR inspired coalitions and I think it's surprising that anyone though there was ever any hope for the yes vote.

The Lib Dems were weak to allow anything but a simple unencumbered vote on PR. They should have stuck to their guns and teamed up with whichever of the two parties party offered them it. The ending of interminable sea-saw effect the FPTP system has on our governance and the associated 'us and them' mindset that this maintains causes long-term and ongoing damage this to our society and is much more important than short term political gain.
On 19 Apr 2011 at 12:22pm Average Punter wrote:
As yer average man on the street who doesn't really get involved in politics, thinking any party is as evil as any other, I have asolutely no idea what PR or AV means to me as a voter, or how it will determine the outcome of a vote night. I just want someone to independently state in clear, concise simple terms the pros and cons of each, that I can understand.
On 19 Apr 2011 at 12:42pm Paul Newman wrote:
Well Mr. Average Punter the problem AV is supposed to solve is that many MP`s do not receive over 50% of the votes .
It does this in some sense knocking off the last placed Party and redistributing the second preferences of their votes until someone has over half the votes cast.
Whether it is fair to count second choices with first choices is a problem , with more than two Parties standing it is always likely the majority would prefer someone other than the one who wins . It does nothing to change that and unreasonably empowers small Party voters who second choices are now important whereas they were previously no more important than the sensible and large minority who cannot be bothered at all. Why should they be ?
The main problem with AV though is that in a country with a second choice centre Party counting second choices will clearly tend to give them the balance of power. This means that the majority who do not want coalitions or no chance of their own preferred Party winning lose out . It also crucially means it is far more likely that a beaten PM can avoid the axe by doing a deal with the Lib Dems . That means an administration is no longer directly accountable as it usually is now . That is above all the reason the British are rejecting the idea .
We wish to retain our unimpeded power to kick the rascals out and rightly so.
(The problem of proportionality is not addressed by AV at all which is less proportional but if it fails then this will be addressed by a PR elected House Of Lords to some extent )
Thats about it
On 19 Apr 2011 at 1:35pm Vesbod wrote:
Errr, I don't think that is strictly correct Paul Newman - hopefully everyone should have received a leaflet through their door explaining it all to the Nth degree, AND, in a NON BIASED way !!
On 19 Apr 2011 at 1:59pm Grrr wrote:
Errmmm... Paul Newman - I'm pretty sure Average Punter asked for an INDEPENDENT explanation, which you are clearly incapable of giving.
Your 'explanation' is woeful and a joke - I urge Average Punter to disregard it as the political drivel that it is.
I will not attempt to explain AV because I'm well aware of my bias against FPTP, which will of course force me to sing the praises of AV (even though I don't think it's perfect, it's certainly better than FPTP in my opinion).
I would do a Vesbod suggests and read the leaflet. DO NOT listen to Paul Newman about this (or about anything really).
On 19 Apr 2011 at 2:35pm Deelite wrote:
This is written in pretty clear English:

The Alternative Vote (AV) is very much like First-Past-the-Post (FPTP). Like FPTP, it is used to elect representatives for single-member constituencies, except that rather than simply marking one solitary 'X' on the ballot paper, the voter has the chance to rank the candidates on offer.

The voter thus puts a '1' by their first-preference candidate, and can continue, if they wish, to put a '2' by their second-preference, and so on, until they don't care anymore or they run out of names. In some AV elections, such as most Australian elections, electors are required to rank all candidates.

If a candidate receives a majority of first-preference votes (more people put them as number one than all the rest combined), then they are elected.
If no candidate gains a majority on first preferences, then the second-preference votes of the candidate who finished last on the first count are redistributed. This process is repeated until someone gets over 50 per cent.
On 19 Apr 2011 at 3:43pm Paul Newman wrote:
OK Deelite , suppose I want to maximise the chances of a Conservative/ Labour candidate winning in a three Party race with several small Parties as outliers
What order do I put my preferences in ?
Not so simple eh.
On 19 Apr 2011 at 4:21pm Mystic Mog wrote:
Well said Deelite.
PN you do go on about retaining FPTP system when the Tory Party do not use it for their own leadership elections. We hear now that Cameron is proposing using AV for a more democratic House of Lords elections. If it is good enough for the Tory leadership elections and the House of Lords then it is good enough for the electorate.
On 19 Apr 2011 at 7:43pm Auwyn wrote:
Not only was Cameron elected using the AV system, but he was also the second placed candidate after the first round of voting. How did that turn out for the Tory Party, Dave? Was it very expensive for them? With all their newfangled vote-counting machines they must have bought? Was it all a little too complicated for them? No? Well why would it be too complicated for the rest of us.
Also Mr Newman, in Australia, voting is compulsory and voters have to vote for all the parties so if there are five choices, they need to select them all in order of preference. It's different with the proposed AV system here. If you dont want to vote for any other than your first choice, you can just BACK AWAY FROM THE BOOTH. You dont have to vote for them all.
I think you know that though.
On 19 Apr 2011 at 7:47pm Deelite wrote:
PN. I can't see how anyone given a good number of choices would want Labour as an alternative to the Tories and vice versa, but to answer your question I imagine you'd decide which one you wanted most, put them as your first choice and then put the other as your second choice.
It seems a bit obvious so I've must have missed the import of your question. What is it?

Mog. The clear AV explanation was lifted from the Electoral Reform Society's web site. They were not my words, sadly.
On 19 Apr 2011 at 9:17pm Paul Newman wrote:
A Party election is about discovering unity amongst like minded and knowledgeable members . A general election is to decide between competing points of view and interests without a war. Quite different
Anyway plenty of second preference ,First Past The Post supporters here
Goody good.
On 19 Apr 2011 at 9:45pm MC wrote:
As I said, they think we're thick. And you Paul Newman are a dupe, a turkey voting for Christmas.
On 20 Apr 2011 at 7:30am Twinky wrote:
Sadly the rubbish being talked by Newman and his ilk is prevailing ... "oooh let's pretend its all too complicated writing some numbers, let's just stick to putting a cross in one of two boxes, that way we keep the nice cozy system we've had forever, wouldn't want a coalition like those foreign johnnies..."
On 20 Apr 2011 at 9:11am Average Punter wrote:
OK thanks for the responses, not seen any leaflets through the door as yet so will keep my eye out for that unbias view
On 20 Apr 2011 at 10:50am Ed Can Do wrote:
To be honest, it doesn't make the blindest bit of difference which system we have so long as voter apathy isso prevelant. Rather than wasting so much time and effort scoring points off each other, the electoral reform types should be looking into making text message voting a viable option, thereby propelling voter turn out to hitherto unseen levels.

Except of course a far greater threat to Tory rule would be poor people actually botheting to vote or even realising that politics isn't nearly as complicated as the Tory spin machine likes to make out.

The current system is basically hugely self-serving. So long as politicians can make huge sums of cash by being politicians we'll never have decent government.
On 20 Apr 2011 at 11:26am Expat two wrote:
I kind of don't agree, ECD - kind of.
The people that don't vote are n't the poor, its the disenfranchised left of center voters - there is no party representing them. These are the people that Newman and the Tories, that have run the country for the last 40 odd years, don't want to engage. Even when, as since Tory Blair's 2nd term, they outnumber the winning party's voters. There's a very real danger that with AV their votes might actually make a difference to the appalling way the country gets run.
The spin machine is indeed a wicked thing though. You do know, don't you, that Conservative Central Office encourage party members to post on local forums with suggested texts. This, I suspect, is where Newman's rhetoric drivel emanates.
On 20 Apr 2011 at 2:20pm Twinkly wrote:
Yes, the "No to AV" section of the conservives.com website contains all the little bullet points of rubbish we hear daily.
I have to say, the "Yes" campaign has been competely outclassed in terms of both content and of consistency of message. Hats off to the Tories, they have killed this one stone dead; Cleggy has been totally outmanoeuvered ... yet again...

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Lewes religion

This is a sad and infuriating subject, as so much misinformation is pushed, and the far-right lap it up as their truth. I was... more
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
George Orwell