Nothing stirs up the Brits more than what is, and what is not, fair. AV is neither fair nor logical. And poses a very interesting conundrum for which there doesn’t appear to be an answer.
First, forget fairness. Once AV comes into play (assuming nobody gains over 50% of the vote first time round) then a few voters – or maybe quite a few – have the luxury of a second vote. Blatantly unfair. Blatantly undemocratic.
Interestingly, the UK often sends observers to foreign parts to ensure elections far and wide aren’t corrupt i.e. that people don’t vote more than once !
Second, AV is totally illogical as far as common sense if concerned.. Apart from the above, it is clearly a nonsense to award an honourary second vote to someone whose original preference was for the Stop The Traffic in My Cul de Sac Coalition or Free Meals for Snails Campaign.
What message does that send? Er, if I can’t have a one dressed as a banana holding an half-peeled orange deciding on future taxation; education policy or whether to invade Libya, then I suppose, damn it, I’ll have to go for….um….the Con/Lab/ Lib Dem/UKIP or Green candidate !
But I still prefer the fruitcake.
Which brings us to a unique conundrum.
Let’s assume in a particular constituency that a very large number of second preference votes go to a Green Party candidate who actually finished last out of 5 in the first round (perfectly possible).
As the AV counting unravels, low and behold the Green Party candidate – eliminated in Round 1 remember – now has more votes than anyone else ! Do they magically ‘re-appear’ on the list and take the seat in a blaze of controversial glory ? If not, why not?
What a damned mess.
The nation decides in May – where a simple majority will decide it, apparently.