Friday, May 06, 2011

Wasting my vote

Funnily enough, I voted ‘Yes’ to AV in the end - as predicted a last-minute decision, and largely because the other vote – the council election – gave me a clear indication of the particular failings of FPTP.

Bristol St George West, not a salubrious area, is a straight fight between Lib Dems and Labour. I would naturally want to vote Conservative, but it’s a waste of time. Therefore I voted for the Lib Dems, purely as a tactical vote against Labour.

What I really wanted to do was put Conservative as my first choice, to indicate my preference, but Lib Dem second, so that I can say “Assuming my guy doesn’t win, I’d rather the Liberal got in than the Labour man”.

Which AV would have allowed me to do.

In the end Labour got in to Bristol St George West, and doubtless the AV vote will be No, which doesn’t concern me unduly.

I didn’t ‘waste’ my vote on the Lib Dem candidate – I just voted for the losing side. But I was forced to vote for him despite not wanting him, because going for the Tory really would have been wasting my vote.


Susan's Husband said...

What bugs me is I see this discussed but no one seems to bring up Arrow's Theorem which should be the starting point. Which of Arrow's criteria would you give up?

Brit said...

Hmm... 'SHOULD be the starting point...'

The level of debate in this campaign hasn't got remotely close to logic.

Normblog has mentioned Arrow, mind. He was pro-AV.

Hey Skipper said...

I guess I'm having a hard time figuring out why AV matters.

In your case, voting Conservative, while sensible, in a FPTP system akin to simply not voting at all.

The only choice that might have had an impact is voting Liberal, which you could have done absent AV.

Perhaps in a close multi-party contest, AV could yield a different winner. But I'll bet those are so thin on the ground as to be irrelevant.

Hey Skipper said...


BTW, is my memory fooling me, or did I read about some rioting not too far from you a couple weeks ago?

Today's word verification: elert. The state of mind following the fourth cup of coffee; see archaic usage "alert".

Gaw said...

What convinced me to vote 'no' was the news that Diane Abbott's second preferences were what got Ed Milliband elected as Labour leader in a vote using AV. Most people who know the sort of person who might vote for Diane Abbott will understand my misgivings.

I also think sticking with what you know in these matters - as long as it hasn't been too disastrous - is usually wise counsel.

David said...

Actually, the Canadian elections would likely have been different if Canada had AV. There seem to be a good number of ridings that the Conservatives won because Labour and the NDP split the lefty ("centrist" in Canadian) vote.

David said...

By the way, I've been wondering: is Abbottabad named after an Englishman? Possibly a soldier?

Recusant said...



Brit said...

Skipper - ah yes, the Stokes Croft supermarket riots. That will be the subject of a forthcoming TofE postage.

malty said...

A/....Fred Bloggs

B/...Slack Alice

C/...Joe Soap

D/...Betty Boop

E/...None of the Above, chuck that lot away and come back with a different mob, complete with brains this time.

Voting would be made compulsory and, added to the above, interesting.