Blunkett: NO campaign made up cost figures

And now, at the last possible moment, David Blunkett admits that the NO campaign plucked figures out of the air when deciding how to torpedo fairer votes:

The former Labour Home Secretary described the figure of £250 million, used by the No campaign to define the extra cost of AV, as “made up”.

Mr Blunkett said: “We are in the middle of an election campaign. People in elections use made-up figures. I have never used the £250 million figure. It [AV] would undoubtedly cost more but I have used an extra £90 million.”

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Most of this campaign is a distraction…

I am voting YES to AV because it is better than FPTP.

No other considerations matter.

  • Ignore the politicians, they are out for themselves.
  • Ignore the cost, the difference (if it exists) is insignificant compared to the money those voted for get to apportion.
  • Ignore your opinion of the coalition, they are only around for a few more years.
  • Ignore the risk of coalitions, they only come about because we now have a three party system.
  • Ignore which other countries do or do not have AV or FPTP, the question is what is best for the UK.
  • Ignore the risk of extremists, people will vote how they want to vote, it is not your job to decide if they have made a bad choice.
  • Remember, the winner always wins, the system that determines the winner is different.

Please vote based on which voting system is a better voting system, because the choice will probably be with us for decades, long after the current coalition is gone, and it is unlikely we will get to vote on the issue again in our lifetimes.

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Eddie Izzard on AV

Lies and patronising misdirection from the NO campaign? Eddie Izzard can set them straight. Vote 123 on 5th May – vote YES.

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Is your cat confused about the referendum on the voting system on the 5th May?

From the tubes of the Internet…

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How can it be better not to vote?

We were recently asked to comment on a YouTube video which promotes a logical fallacy:

To summarise then: in the video there is an election which three hundred people miss, but it turns out that their second choice won anyway.  If they had voted, the party which none of those three hundred chose at all would have won.

So my neutrally-asked, politely-debate-opening question is this: How is AV a fairer system if it can lead to situations where you are better off if you don’t vote at all?

Vote 123 reply

In this extremely contrived example, the greens feel they would be better served by the Democrat candidate if their first preference doesn’t get in, probably because they feel closer to the Democrats in policy.

However, the Democrats (as you can see from the numbers) seem to think they are closer to the Republicans in policy, so they prefer Republican as a second choice, not the Green. Not everyone sees party differences the same, or votes on the same issues.

In the first example, the lack of Green votes means that their candiate is eliminated first, and their second preferences decide the election – the Democrats win. In the second example, when those extra voters can be counted for the Greens, the Democrats are the first eliminated.

They don’t want the Greens to win, so their votes mostly go to the Republican, who prevents the Greens from winning.

Essentially, this video says that the Greens didn’t get their preference in the second example, because the majority of voters were happier to see a Democrat or Republican elected than a Green candidate.

That’s how democracy works – if more people don’t want your candidate, they don’t get elected. Sorry if that’s not your personal preference, but if we bowed to the preference of the fewest, we could call that a “tyranny of the minority” – FPTP is much better at delivering such results because splits in voting can deliver the election to a minority-supported candidate.

AV is a fairer system because it better represents the views of the whole electorate. The logical fallacy in this video is that your view (the 300 Greens in this case) is somehow more important the view of the entire electorate. Better off for a small group certainly does not equal fairer.

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Vote 123 is up and running

This is a new site, mainly put together for the referendum in the UK on 5th May, but also for anyone interested in electoral reform. Help us to answer more questions by getting involved in the debate!

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