Not a strong argument

The Deputy Prime Minister is today arguing the case for AV.  Or rather he is making claims without apparently advancing any substantive arguments.  Saying that in future the arguments against AV will appear as nonsensical as those used against giving the vote to women is as questionable as it is irrelevant to the substance of the debate.  He claims that changing to AV will bring the system ‘up to date’.  What on earth does that mean?  There’s nothing new, or up to date, about AV.  It was devised in the 1870s and is used for national elections by only Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.    And Australians apparently are not too keen  on it.   It is not new or widely used.  I am still waiting for some substantive arguments.

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About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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6 Responses to Not a strong argument

  1. Peta says:

    Thank you my Lord for the brief history of AV and where in the world is it used. The information has filled one of the many gaps in my education. I am even more puzzled now as to why we are even considering it. . . . ?

  2. Lord Norton says:

    Peta: Thanks for your comments. On your last point, I suspect your puzzlement is widely shared.

  3. ladytizzy says:

    What the dickens? Mr Clegg has now joined the current Labour leader in a cuckoo-like appropriation of an historical issue of women’s rights.

    Ah, yes. Springtime.
    Warning: 9min YouTube gratuitous link

    PS At least one Cabinet member knows who his master is.

  4. Papua New Guinea doesn’t actually use AV. It uses a system known locally as “Limited Preferential Voting” where voters can only give a maximum of three preferences. This is closest to the Supplementary Vote used for Mayoral elections here, a system that AV campaigners run a mile from when it fails to demonstrate signs of the utopia they claim a Yes vote would bring.

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