Tuesday, 28 December 2010

In favour of firsts

Now many of you know that I am supporting the No to AV campaign and though I have issues with the slow start and slight odd attitude of the No to AV campaign. My main issue is the campaign seems solely defensive nature. I myself have been guilty of criticising AV http://piemandmu.blogspot.com/2010/11/no-to-av.html without defending FPTP. Well this is an error I intend to put right; so why vote for FPTP.

Arguments for FPTP:

The First one is simple – given that are voting system is based on the ideal that each constituency should have just one representative, it stand to reason that the voter is required to vote just once. In short FPTP encapsulates the ideal of voting for a single candidate.

Second: FPTP seeks to find a majority based solely on votes cast; it does not insist on some pre-determined percentile majority or some percentile level one must achieve, it seeks merely to find the candidate who can command the most votes.

Thirdly: FPTP ensures that each voter has but one vote, this is of course linked to the first point, however, some other systems allow multiple votes depending on the array of preferences and inferences of the voters but under FPTP everyone is guarantee one vote and a vote of equal weight and importance.

Fourthly: FPTP ensures only parties that can represent large swaths of the population will enjoy support, ensuring that more extreme parties are side lined, without having to resort to undemocratic percentile thresholds or other PR related anti extremist measures. In short FPTP ensures naturally decent governance where PR is forced to utilise extremely questionable mechanisms to ensure the same.

Fifthly: Linked once again to the first point, is that FPTP is inseparable form the ideal of one member one seat – unlike preferences or PR systems FPTP is also used when wishing to elect single members for a single seat. This entrances the MP solely within his area; he cannot hope to be elected bar ensuring that they maintain a majority of votes.

Sixth: FPTP by ensuring popular parties are formed it ensures that long term stable governances are found, while allowing radicle change to take place. FPTP systems ensure longer terms of party power (decades rather than years) but still if this power is misused for the people to alter their votes and radicle switch to another popular party and set of policies.


  1. 1) so your argument is that people are to stupid to vote in an AV electrion

    2) yes exactly, and if that person achieves 2% of the votes cast and everyone else recieves one, then he still goes to parliament. You wouldn't get a job if only 1/3rd of the panel liked you.

    3)this notion that you get more than one vote is ridiculous and a deliberate attempt to mislead. You still have one vote under preferential systems, it just so happens that it is split several ways, i.e. expressing a prefence.

    4)yes, thats right, a party under FPTP can gain 1 million more votes and still lose 6 seats, thay is large swaths of the people being denied their preference. Also ensuring that party legitimately has 50% of the vote is ensuring that only a small swath of the population support it isnt it

    5) AV, will keep the system of One Member One Seat.

    6) Aah yes those brilliantly stable 100 years of coalition and minority governments pre 1945 definitely show the system at it's best. Aaah I see how this works, we have parties in power for decades? Aah yes, just take a marvellous note of the Major years, or the Brown years, they were FANTASTIC governments werent they?

  2. 1: No just FPTP is suited to a one member on seat system

    2: who are we to decree percentages

    3: People can make their own mind up of whom is misleading whom

    4 they don't have 50% AV confuses the majority issue

    5: I know that but it is unsuited to it

    6: they where far better then the corrupt PR governments or the governments lead by minority coalition parties

  3. In favour of AV

    The First one is simple – The Alternative gives each voter one and one vote only. There's just more chance of that vote making a difference.

    Second: Using first past the post it is easy for the largest minority to to elect an MP. Sometimes this minority can be very small, less than 30% of the vote and if there a 5 candidates standing it is possible for a candidate to win on just 21% of the vote. AV ensures a much larger share of the vote is won by the eventual winner of the election.

    Thirdly: FPTP has turned many constituencies into safe seats where the value of a vote is considerably less than a vote in a marginal constituency. AV goes someway to even this out. Using AV every voter has one vote and one vote only, each vote is of equal value.

    Fourthly: AV ensures that candidates have a lot of support, small, extremist parties will find it very difficult to get sufficient level of support to get elected. FPTP allows these parties to muster a small amount but sufficient support to win in a constituency with an evenly spread spectrum of political opinion.

    Fifthly: The Alternative Vote gives each voter one and one vote only. To get elected an MP must achieve wide ranging, majority support, unlike FPTP where a minority of voters can determine the outcome.

    Sixth: The UK is moving away from two party politics and coalitions will probably become the norm if the present voting system continues. The problem with two party politics is that when a change in the governing party occurs the incoming party spend a lot of time and money undoing what the previous governing party had put in place. AV gives voters more say, more of the time in how they pay to represent them in parliament.