Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker
andrewducker

More thoughts on voting

Over on communicator's journal there's been a fair bit of discussion of AV. communicator is against it, and the discussions have been really good for helping me think about various aspects of it. There's nothing like finding someone with an opposing viewpoint willing to discuss something in good faith to help you work things through.

Anyway, the thing that occurred to me is that I've basically been doing invisible AV every time I vote.

After all, with AV you make as many votes as you want in preference order, and if your first choice is knocked out then your votes get moved onto your highest ranked remaining option, and so on until either there's nobody left in the running you felt you could vote for, your vote is on someone who breaks the 50% barrier, or someone else breaks the 50% barrier.

And with tactical voting under FPTP, you do much the same thing, only you have to guess which parties are going to be left in the running for the "final round" (which is the only round).

So I could (for instance) look at the list, and in my head say "I'd like to vote Green, but they're going to get about 3% of the vote, so how about the Lib Dems, nope, about 20% of the vote, what about Labour - ooh, they've got a chance of winning, I'll vote for them."

The differences being (a) I'm having to guess what percentages the parties will get. (b) I can't see from previous elections what parties are people's real preferences for election (c) Nobody can tell that my vote for Labour was _actually_ a vote for the Greens, and that I'd prefer a Liberal party to a Left one (although they can see that I'd prefer a Left one to a Right one).

So there's all sorts of information hiding going on, and guessing, rather than having all of the information out in the open.

Now, with AV you still have some information hiding - because you can't tell from my ranking of Green->Lib-Dem->Labour that I _really_ like the Greens, kinda like the Lib-Dems, and will hold my nose for Labour if I absolutely have to. I might have thought they were all amazing, and the difference between them was marginal.

But there's less information being hidden, and I think that's a good thing.



This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth - you can comment here or there, but I suspect that most comments will be here. Comments so far over there: comment count unavailable
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