Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Replies To The Critics of AV

In response to criticisms of AV in the comments system of my last article.

The party power criticism is not a straw man; at the moment, the selection of local candidates who appear on the ballot paper is done by a local party which frequently rebels against outside impositions. Additionally, PR is bad news for independent candidates, as larger constituencies and an endorsement of the idea you vote for a national governing party, will undermine their viability.

Regarding AV being disproportionate, it is disproportionate in terms of first-choice ballots cast, but doesn't operate on the presumption that that is the only criterion for selecting an MP. By permitting an in-built system of tactical voting and consensus-building, it produces a very fair result given the opinions of our electorate.

Now, I admit that AV essentially asks of voters a different question to either FPTP or PR. But I think it's a better question.

As to the cheap shot that AV would eliminate Tories, I am not so sure it would. Regardless of whom it helps or hinders, it produces democracy where British citizens can safely support which candidates they really like, rather than the least bad candidate out of the two viable ones.