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20 responses to “The alternative vote (AV) referendum”

  1. Sam

    Of course the wedding made everyone feel warm and fuzzy about Ye Olde English Institutions, like FPTP.

    What a masterstroke by the Tories to hold the referendum just a few days after the Big Event.

  2. Nickws

    I think the next Yes or No campaign will be the Labour Party decision on whether to start admitting ex-Lib Dem MPs.

  3. GoTroppo

    You’d have thought after the last election (and since) with BOTH major parties on the nose, that if ever a preferential system of voting would get a look in – now’s it.

    However, I suspect it’s fair easier to stoke the flames of islamaphobia on this issue – “if this change is meant to support minorities, imagine how many islamic MP’s will make it into parliament thus hastening our move to an islamic state” and all that sort of nonsense.

    Mind you, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard whinging Tories in OZ complain about both mandatory and preferential voting because they don’t have 90% of the seats in the parliament.

  4. Katz

    Clegg, the self-interring political corpse.

  5. Razor

    @3 – it’s generally the unrepresentative swill that upsets us RWDBs.

  6. Fran Barlow

    On the positive side from the BLP POV, this pretty much ensures that the LDP has to choose between two disastrous options without being sure which is worse.

    Breaking the coalition is almost certainly the less disastrous move for them — putting off the day of reckoning for four years could see them hurt even more than the ALP was here in NSW. The Tories could, and would reduce them to cowardly bystanders at the table — guests who had outstayed their welcome.

    An early election though would surely see them reduced to a rump and many of their voters would choose Miliband. Still, at least they could begin rebuilding rather than waiting four more years.

  7. tssk

    lol at the misinformation in the UK. DO you know apparently our voting system needs complicated voting machines that cost millions to maintain? And that we also are trying to get rid of our system to be more like theirs?

    So sad. Nobbled just like our referendum was.

  8. skepticlawyer

    The misinformation campaign (repeated, without correction, all over the BBC) is spectacular. I’ve outlined the worst of it here:


    If it were sport, it’d be Bodyline all over again.

    ‘One of these teams is attempting to conduct its elections in a free and fair manner. The other team is telling lies about it’

  9. Lefty E

    Of course. What possible justification could one provide for FPTP without resort to fibbing?

  10. Mark Bahnisch

    @skepticlawyer, yep, I’ve been following some of the bizarre allegations about what AV would do – particularly those supposedly from Australian experience – with some horror/laughter. It’s just a way to make the electoral system a little fairer. It won’t:

    (a) lead to DOMINATION BY MINORITIES (insert whatever minority you think is scary);
    (b) give aid and comfort to the BNP;
    (c) lead to WEAK GOVERNMENT!

    … and there’s so much more crap on offer.

    All of it from the Conservative Central Office with the collusion of the worst of the old Labour dinosaurs.

  11. Mark Bahnisch

    Btw, you’d think UK electors might want to cast an eye at Canada – where in the context of a four party (at least) system under FPTP, the Conservatives have just managed to get a majority in the Commons with 60% of the vote for left of centre parties.

  12. skepticlawyer

    The irony is that FPTP in the UK helps Labour, stings the Tories and butchers the LibDems, UKIP and Greens. The idiocy of Conservative HQ on this has to be seen to be believed. I thought of doing a piece for ConservativeHome on it, but in the end there is only so much manure I’m willing to swim through.

  13. Tyro Rex

    As short a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a ‘categorical pledge’ were the official words) that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty at the end of the present week. All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April.

  14. Tyro Rex

    The “secret ballot” is also known as the “Australian ballot”. As a world leader in democratic systems, it’s highly off-putting that our democracy can be so openly assailed with lies and distortions by a country that is basically nothing short of an aristocratic oligarchy.

  15. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Razor: not many RWDBs in the UK. Too many RWUCTs.

  16. calyptorhynchus

    Poor old Lib-Dems, classic case of political naifs being out-manoeuvred by more experienced political operators (just like the Republican Movement was by Howard in 1999).

    The only hope for the Lib-Dems is to dump Clegg (an open Tory), march out of the Coalition and bring on an election.

  17. Katz

    Infuriated by British misrepresentations of Australian practices?


    On the contrary, I’m comforted by the abiding cloth-eared, parochial ignorance of our increasingly distant British cousins.

    John Bull is never more attractive than when he patriotically buggers himself with his own Best-of-British spotted dick.

  18. Russ

    Damn. If they vote “no”, what am I going to do with all these expensive voting machines I’ve stocked up on?

  19. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    I think the AV campaign was doomed once Clegg – the unofficial figurehead – decided to break his “no students’ fees” promise way back when. I’m finding it a little meh, to be honest.

    What’s more interesting is that the SNP are on track to win a majority in the Scottish regional elections. If they score it, then a referendum on Scottish independence will follow soon afterwards.

    I wonder if Sean Connery will campaign for it? He’s nearly 81, so he may not have the strength. But it would be sweet irony if a man identified with flying the Union Jack led to its dissolution. John Bull’s spotted dick? It’s actually melanoma.

  20. sg

    the situation summarized with typical charm by the Daily Mash.