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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Nailing the AV myths

Over at the Guardian website, Chris Rennard nails the myth that has led to the majority of MPs opposing the switch to AV. The idea that a change will lead to more hung Parliaments is a misconception he says:

William Hague was actually right to say that the biggest divide on issues about electoral systems is generally between those arguing for majoritarian systems and those arguing for more proportional systems. Majoritarian systems are supposed to deliver overall majorities for one party. Proportional systems are supposed to deliver parliaments that are more representative of the voters. AV, however, is a majoritarian system that will normally make a hung parliament less likely. First-past-the-post is often described as delivering a "winner's bonus" that gives the party with most votes and seats an additional number of seats (compared to their proportional share). AV actually tends to increase this "winner's bonus" as second preferences of eliminated candidates tend to transfer in the same sort of ratio of as votes are cast for the parties in first and second place.

It is a fact that Australia, which uses AV has had less hung Parliaments that the UK under first past the post. It is also a lie to say that Australia want to jettison their voting system.

It is on such myths and misrepresentations that the 'No' campaign have based their opposition to change. It is a shame because if AV is rejected today then it will be a generation or more before we have another chance for reform.
So why on earth are you advocating a system that, from what you say, is even less proportional than FPTP?
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