Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Mixed messages

It's not often you feel sorry for the average Daily Mail reader but today's coverage of the electoral change referendum must have left them scratching heads in confusion.

What the headline appears to be saying is that if we change (Which must be bad - unless it's a change back to something that involves regaining the right to murder or molest someone weaker than yourself in which case it's way over due) then the BNP will have more say. And although this is being portrayed as a nasty thing, deep down inside there's a lot of readers who are giggling like little school girls at the thought.

On the other hand voting Yes - according to David and/or Ed Milliband would be good for progressive parties. This means more squeezing of tax payers and free plasma TVs for unmarried crack whores. So that's a bad thing.

What to do?

Is it Ant or Dec?

In fairness the point being made is a legitimate one. Will changing to AV affect the lot of smaller parties in a positive or negative manner? I personally think it will mean less chance of them getting elected as they're unlikely ever to command the support of more than 50% of the electorate's second or third choices.

This isn't the concern being raised by this article though, the worry here is that after voting for the BNP and seeing them binned alongside the other monster raving loonies their supporters second choice will be taken into consideration, thereby giving the knuckle-draggers two votes.

This is a deliberate misunderstanding of the way AV works propagated by the No campaign. If no candidate is worthy of the support of half of the voters, in effect, another vote is called for with the real dross - and they must be bad - eliminated (Think X-factor). In reality this would be a nightmare to administer and cost a fortune and as no one's making money from a premium phone line it's not going to happen. So instead an imaginary one takes place.

In this imaginary vote it's assumed if your favourite candidate is still in the running you'll vote for them again. If your boy's been evicted you can choose who to vote for from the remaining chancers or not bother. If at the end of this vote someone's mustered up half the voters support they win, if not some other loser's kicked out and we go for a second imaginary vote.

So whenever someone's second preference is counted you've also had a vote counted again if you backed someone still in the game. Either no one gets two votes or everyone gets two votes, or three or four votes...

That's quite conceptual and takes some thinking about and so it's easy to spread the lie that some people will get two or three bites at the voting cherry and others only one.

I think it's clear that the Mail will be supporting the No campaign on the basis that AV will offer less opportunity for a landslide Conservative government - or a landslide any government to be fair. In addition it will set a precedent for electoral change that could set us down the road to proportional representation, and god-forbid we should ever get the government we voted for.

The biggest clue to the Mail's opinion comes in paragraph two.

Really? Continental style is it? The greasy frogs do this do they, and the krauts eh? Probably the EUSSR (See what I did there?) forcing it on us. Well I'll not let it happen not while there's breath in my body.

Of course it's bullshit though. The only continent using this system is Australia, that's what they must mean and I'm sure everyone reading it would be made aware of that at some point. Best Blogger Tips

No comments:

Post a Comment