Monday, July 12, 2010

I don't want to become a broken record on this subject, but...

From today's Scotsman -

"The First Minister yesterday dismissed claims that holding a referendum on voting reform on the same day as the Scottish elections would save £17 million.

The claim was made by Scottish Secretary Michael Moore who said that holding the two votes at the same time would save the taxpayer money.

But Alex Salmond, who has written to the Prime Minister David Cameron demanding a rethink over the plans, said that holding the AV referendum across the UK would cost up to £100 million and that none of the main parties at Westminster supported that form of proportional representation."

If even a major newspaper still can't get its head round the elementary fact that AV is not any kind of 'form' of proportional representation, what chance have the British public got of making an informed choice, whenever the referendum is held?


  1. Yer post made me laugh right enough James, tae see the Scotsman described as a 'major newspaper'!

    That aside, ah agree wi yer concerns. Nae maitter that AV as an electoral system is a huge pile o' keich, we're nivver gaunnae get a sensible debate oan it wi the misinformation that'll be flung aroond like confetti durin the campaign. Which maks it aw the worse tae sit it right oan tap o' the Scottish General Election. It's hard enough tae get through tae some fowk at the best o' times, an' the 5th o May next year is turnin oot tae be the worst.

    Ah say tae Mr Clegg, "Get yer tanks aff oor front gairden!!"

    ps - word verification 'Stoatt', which is whit Mr Clegg's needin!

  2. There are two big problems with AV. First, the referendum is going to be held on the same day as the Scottish Elections and the SNP will again be sidelined by the BBC and other broadcasters as they ignore the Scottish Elections and concentrate on the AV referendum.

    Second, AV is as you point out not proportional and it could easily be described as First Past the Post, (FPTP) with bells and whistles or more accurately, First Past the Fifty, (FPTF) in each constituency.

    The data on how the AV would change the results of the last General Election are fairly crude but in the only model I've seen on the Electoral Reform site which brings in Scotland the SNP would actually lose a seat.

    So much for proportionality.

  3. Sophia, I suppose if Clegg's "money-saving" argument were taken to its logical conclusion, we should just have one mega-election day every five years, covering Westminster, local government, the European Parliament, devolved parliaments and assemblies, and any referenda that crop up. Wonder if he'd go for that?

    Doug - I've always thought that "First Past The Post" would be a much more apt name for AV, with the "post" as the 50% threshold. There's no actual post to get past in our current system - if there are enough candidates you can in theory get elected with 0.5% of the vote!