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So, we are led to believe that only 14% of voters would put Tom Barnaby first yet 85 out of 86% would put him second. Not 3rd, 4th or 5th. 2nd. Also, rather conveniently for the author, neither the Greens, UKIP, BNP nor any other independent bother to stand. Now if a result like this has ever happened, feel free to let me know. I’d put the odds at less than 1 in a million. But here’s the amusing bit. Under FPTP, he would have come last too. In all probably, at least half all of his voters would have voted tactically reducing his vote to single figures. And since he sounds like a right wing candidate, he may well have split the Tory vote and let the Labour candidate in.
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Gonna guess there are 1500 counters for 650 constituencies. Assuming we pay them a generous £20 per hour and they're actually slow enough to need another 2, that's 1500 x 40 x 2 = £120,000. Or £24,000 a year. Taking NO2AV's figures of £160m for buying counting machines, it will be around 8678 AD before that decision could even start to pay off.
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Run by the same bloke: Matthew Elliott http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8016671/They-are-furious-but-British-voters-wont-hold-a-Tea-Party.html
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And on that bombshell... Go on, NO2AV, have a go at responding to the post above. Just to keep us entertained.
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Antony, Is there any stronger evidence that the English Chartists deported to Australia helped implement these democratic reforms? Also, why was compulsory voting introduced? COMMENT: There is a chapter on the chartist tradition by Paul Pickering in the book "Elections: Full, Free and Fair" edited by Professor Marian Sawer. http://www.federationpress.com.au/bookstore/book.asp?isbn=9781862873957 I don't have a copy with me in London and I can't remember whether the Chapter deals with specific people. There is also a recent book by Dr Tony Moore from LaTrobe University "Death or Liberty: Rebels and Radicals Transported to Australia, 1788-1868" http://arts.monash.edu.au/ncas/staff/tmoore.php I haven't read it but I understand it deals with this area. I give the best references on the introduction of compulsory voting in this post. http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2011/03/no-link-between-alternative-vote-and-compulsory-voting-in-australia.html Compulsory voting was first introduced in Queensland ahead of the 1915 election. It is generally viewed historically as an attempt of a dying conservative government to ensure its supporters turned out and prevented Labor winning the next election. It was followed by the Commonwealth after the poor turnout at the 1922 election. That bill was passed as a private member's bill with support from both sides. All other states followed over the next two decades. Why Austrlian's have always been willing to have government tell them what is best to do is one of the oddites of the Australian character. Once introduced, it has always maintained two-thirds to three-quarter support in the electorate. I suggest you check the article in the post I referred to.
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We used to have rights before the HRA, but Blair scrapped them all. Freedom of speech? Not if you're a whistleblower or say anything vaguely political in London's square mile or indeed any designated area. Fair trial? Not if an official accuses you of 'terrorist-related offences'. Or the US accuses you of hacking et al. Right to privacy? Blair was planning something 10x worse than the Stasi: a giant Big Brother database that drew together all your data: phone records, email, websurfing, DNA, criminal record, banking, etc etc. It was to be founded on the ID cards database. Even now, in some British cities, cars are automatically tracked via number plates, the data kept for 2 years. Right to travel? Only if you submitted to Blair's Stasi 2.0 (new passports required registration on the National Identity Register). Right to sanctity of home? Without a warrant, police can smash through your door, remove your computers & discs and not pay for damage. It's said that Julian Assange is in London, but, unless he has official assurance, I'm not sure I would stay here. The HRA is essentially toothless (it cannot legally compel the Govt to do anything) but is better than nothing. Also, *British* Bill of Rights? Britain wrote the ECHR which the HRA encapsulates. It's also fairly meaningless without constitutional protection. We have something like the opposite of constitutional protection: Part 2 of the Civil Contingencies Act is modelled on Hitler's Enabling Act which states that, in the event of a minor national emergency, the Govt has absolute dictatorial power. Hitler burned down the Reichstag and the rest is history. Likewise, the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act can rewrite any laws (including the ones which say we have to have elections) without any debate in Parliament.
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We don't have a 2.5 party stitch-up. Historically, the LibDems have had maybe 10% of the power, so 2.1 is a more realistic figure. AV will extend that to about 2.75. That's more democratic in anyone's book. It will guarantee a 3-way debate in future elections (wasn't it a refreshing change this year?) Wasn't it nice that Labour weren't telling porkies about the Tories _all_ the time? In essence, AV elections will be like the 2010 one, with or without leadership debates.
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What Blair was doing with his enormous majorities scared the hell out of me. Did you not notice the 2 successful attempts to sideline Parliament and dictate new laws at whim? Or the highly expensive attempts to capture intimate details of our lives on a Big Brother database? Or the multiple Bills that punish people for doing things like reading out the names of the war dead at the Cenotaph, or even people not convicted of any (spurious) charge at all? Blair's protegy is currently favourite to lead a resurgent Labour Party. Big majorities (those over 60) are a greater threat to this country than anything else. If you don't like hung parliaments and want to get rid of the 5% bias against the Tories & 13% bias against the LibDems (redrawing the boundaries will make no difference), you have maybe a week or two to persuade the Coalition to offer this system: http://waronfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/fptp-av-and-stv-arent-the-only-electoral-systems/
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That's an interesting solution. I would prefer the House of Lords remains appointed though. As long as the appointments process is truly independent, who wouldn't?
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Obviously, you would put a Conservative candidate #1. Out of the other candidates, you will have a preference though. You may wish to put the Labour or BNP candidate last, for example. Hung parliaments are still incredibly unlikely under AV. In Australia, for example, the new hung parliament is the first in 70 years. While the LibDem vote is split 50/50 on second preferences and the Labour Party remains a bunch of lying, corrupt, economically-illiterate authoritarians, the Tories have nothing to fear from AV.
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As Enlight said, they could theoretically, but it would only split their vote. Multi-member constuencies are a vast improvement on single-member. These encourage parties to have 2+ candidates standing. In even vaguely competitive constituencies, it would be possible to vote out the Hazel Blears' of this world, and the better candidates would be much more likely to be elected. This is my favourite feature of STV and I used it in IM-STV. http://waronfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/fptp-av-and-stv-arent-the-only-electoral-systems/ Both systems also encourage independent candidates. FPTP and even AV are strongly biased against them.
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That's merely one of the problems. And redrawing the boundaries won't fix it. http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/blog/?p=56 Incidentally, the _only_ way to fix it is to have some form of PR. If you don't like coalitions (cough), I devised a nice compromise: http://waronfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/fptp-av-and-stv-arent-the-only-electoral-systems/ If you prefer this to AV, go tell Francis Maude quickly. He should already have seen it. The other problems are: 1. Hazel Blears' seat is safe, along with 70% of MPs. 2. Only 2 parties can win, which means that only 2 people can ever run the country. Given the last 2 that Labour picked, that's a scary proposition.
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This issue is too important to be decided by tribal politics. FPTP led to 2 party politics, guaranteed power for the 2 big parties, massive corruption, an unfettered executive, decimation of our 'constitution' and negative campaigning. The country should be run by those interested in representing the people, not those interested in power. I really hope we can have a fair and honest debate ahead of this referendum.
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Aug 22, 2010