I’m certainly no psephologist (though I do totally and absolutely love the word). But as we approach this referendum on Thursday, I’ve been feeling torn. I think I’ve worked out what I think but am not completely settled yet. And even if I was, I don’t think I would tell you. What I say now is probably (certainly) full of psephological flaws…Feel free to comment.
I can quite see that there are unfairnesses in the current First Past The Post (FPTP) system – not least because those elected invariably get less than 50% of the vote. That can be a source of deep frustration to many. We are furthermore informed that it is the root cause of lazy MPs, safe seats and the BNP getting in by the back door…
Though I can’t quite see that there are many fairer means to preventing any of these things. Is it not a fact of life that no democratic system is perfect? Or is that just cynical resignation?
However, I did feel the need to comment on the little YES to AV Campaign video from the venerable Dan Snow – click the summary infographic to watch it…
Well, here’s the flaw in that argument: all would be fine if all the options to going to the coffee shop were similar – ie 3 different pubs. As the illustration indicates, an alternative vote lead to everyone going to the pub. But what happens if the alternative people give is something completely different:
- One or two might want to stay at home if they can’t go to the pub
- The alternatives to the pub might include all kinds of things: staying in with a DVD, going to the cinema, going to a strip club, going midnight-fishing, having a curry etc etc.
- Then, if the most common alternative to going for a beer is staying at home, it will mean that EVERYONE has to stay home.