Sunday, April 03, 2011

AV and the folly of UKIP

A letter arrived in His Grace's in-box this morning, from one Rodney Atkinson , a former university lecturer and adviser to government ministers. It merits a far wider readership and some serious reflection on the intellectual short-sightedness and murky political motives of UKIP, for they profess to be concerned with sovereignty and democracy, and preach the pre-emeninence of British customs and traditions:
Dear Friends,

No one who knows me or my work will doubt my absolute devotion to the cause of democratic sovereignty and withdrawal from the European Union. But like the vast majority who joined the party committed to that goal I left UKIP in 2000 after the disgraceful corruptions of the leadership election in that year.

That behaviour indicated a fundamental instability in the democratic credentials of those who lead UKIP. It is now once again crystal clear, given their extraordinary short sighted support for the long term distortion of British politics by the Alternative Vote, that that leadership is a threat to British democracy itself.

As the electoral commission confirms in it's description of AV it is perfectly possible for the winning candidate to have LESS than 50percent of the vote. In other words the whole claimed purpose of AV is frustrated by its practice. And its practice is grotesque.

Although not quite as disastrous as full blown PR, AV will guarantee permanent power for the same corrupt political class (from Kenneth Clarke and John Gummer to Ed Miliband and Keith Vaz to Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne) which has destroyed our economy, parliament and constitution over the last 20 years. And we should be under no illusions that once AV is in place full proportional representation will follow since the supporters of the latter will be helped into parliament by the former.

In Germany since the 2nd World War the Free Democrats (electoral but not ideological equivalent of Clegg's Lib Dems) have been in virtually every Government since the War. Hans Dietrich Genscher was Foreign Minister for many years because the electoral system gave him the power to dictate that to both major parties as the price of his joining them in coalition. Don't forget - the major political parties, given decisive power by our existing voting system, are themselves coalitions, except that they are open. Coalition Government s however are constructed in parliament AFTER an election and are covert arrangements made behind closed doors by party leaders, at the cost of voters and back benchers.

Most UKIP voters are fundamentally Tories or Labour and would return to those parties when sovereignty is restored. But Tory and Labour (ie the vast majority of British voters) will be greatly disadvantaged by AV while most anti UKIP voters are LiB Dems and Greens who are fanatical about AV because it will give those otherwise unelectable parties permanent seats in coalition governments. And with angry patriotic Socialists outside Labour and angry genuine Conservatives outside the Tory Party the leaderships of both parliamentary parties under AV will join with the Lib Dems and the Greens rather than cooperate with UKIP MPs - if there are any.

So while there MAY be short term opportunist advantage for UKIP's individual leaders who fancy a seat in the House of Commons the long term political result will be the permanent defeat of those very principles which UKIP voters hold dear.

The reason why fewer and fewer people vote for the "major" political parties is not becasue of the electoral system but because British politics is morally and politically bankrupt. Most have given up voting altogether - although AV will not give the angry abstainers any box to tick! AV is a stitch up, a gross manipulation of the people in the guise of "giving them more votes". More votes means less power to the voter and more power to politicians behind the scenes - as the Condem coalition proves every day. AV has all the attributes of bad law - it is complicated, not generally understood, difficult to scutinise and therefore open to fraud, gives some voters more power than others and the rulers more power than the ruled.

To that extent it is perfectly in harmony with the petty fascist society created by the British political class, to which the British people are turning their backs in utter comtempt. A class which UKIP now foolishly seeks to join.

Rodney Atkinson


Anonymous David Page said...

It is indeed a very interesting letter and poses a major dilemma for someone, such as myself who has been a Thatcherite for their entire adult life. The Tory party today is nothing more than the SDP of the 1980s, it is bereft of anything I associate with Conservative values. How can I go on supporting a party such as this, with a leader who is so contemptuous of the rights of the British people to determine where they see Britain's rightful place in EUrope? For all its warts, the UKIP offers a choice and a flicker of hope and a chance to protest about being ignored and taken for granted.

3 April 2011 at 10:47  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

YG, a good posting. I had already come to the conclusion that I shall be voting against a change to AV, for the main reason that coalition government works against the voters. FPTP at least allows for the complete removal of an ideology at general election time.
The problem that our country faces is not the method of voting, but the method of selection of the people who are supposed to represent us. For, in my opinion, if honourable, truthful, honest and patriotic representative are in place, everything else is incidental. We have the wrong people presenting themselves as candidates for service of our country.

3 April 2011 at 10:57  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Damn good post YG!

I never trusted them, like many I have given up on the political class altogether and thats a good thing for the future of those who put their faith in a higher purpose.

3 April 2011 at 11:14  
Anonymous Voyager said...

the Free Democrats (electoral but not ideological equivalent of Clegg's Lib Dems)

Actually the German System does NOT use AV but is a hybrid system. Direct Mandates are elected on FPTP with a List Top Up based upon votes cast to give proportionality.

The FDP is a weird party originally it entered government because the SPD was unelectable because of its Marxist Programme until 1957 Bad Godesberg.

The FDP appeals to civil servants, small businessmen and the Greens to urban professionals.

The fact that UKIP is a Farage fan club is no surprise to readers of but all political parties are corrupt. The problem in GErmany is State-funding of parties and the fact that public sector employees get career advancement by being "politically involved" with automatic promotions whilst in Parliament.

40% German MPs are Civil Servants.

The British System has rotten boroughs where nomination determines election and a few marginals where attention is lavished. With State Media and a slavish press Britain is more like the USSR than Germany.

The electoral system was chosen by those who owned the rotten boroughs long before the 1832 Reform Act and the voters are simply extras in a Westminster drama

3 April 2011 at 11:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is NO evidence AV would lead to more coalitions as Australia shows. Indeed, research shows Thatcher would have INCREASED her 1987 majority under the system. You also fail to mention Ken Clarke opposes AV as he knows it will increase the UKIP vote, which is presently close to overtaking the LDs as the third party in British Politics!

3 April 2011 at 11:33  
Anonymous Sov_Res said...

It is quite breathtakingly arrogant of someone who by their own admission "left UKIP in 2000" to then presume to go on and tell us who most UKIP voters "fundamentally are."

Mr Atkinson's Wikipedia page (which His Grace helpfully links to) reveals that he left UKIP not out of any moral conviction, but because he lost a leadership bid under acrimonious circumstances and has been ranting against UKIP since. Like many other former UKIPpers he has it seems been nursing his knife for a very long time indeed, convinced that he is right and everyone else is wrong. *sigh*

His letter is also riddled with contradictions: In one segment he informs us that Tory and Labour voters are "the vast majority of British voters" in the next he says "fewer and fewer people vote for the major political parties" indeed "most have given up voting altogether."

The simplest rebuttal is that if UKIP is so desperate to join the political class (something Mr Atkinson plainly tried and failed to do) and is part of a massive pro-AV stich-up why were UKIP and Farage excluded from the Yes to AV launch this week?

Indeed why must His Grace resort to a Photoshop Cut & Paste putting a Yes to AV campaign banner on a picture of Farage. Dishonestly implying that Farage is part of the Yes2AV campaign rather than a supporter of it. Rather a subtle piece of deception this, but no less immoral, on the poor chaps birthday too... for shame. Please don't deny this or equivocate Your Grace, simply supply a link to the original picture from a UKIP source.

His Grace's increasingly hysterical campaign against AV is getting rather tiresome. None of the academic data backs any of his assertions, nor those of the No2AV campaign. This is simply the plain truth. (As an academic it is rather odd that Mr Atkinson fails to mention this too.)

The only thing that AV poses a threat to is the security of the Tory hold on parliamentary seats. A security premised upon countless conservative-minded voters simply having no choice but to begrudgingly vote for a party that has long ceased being conservative.

Another threat to that security is UKIP, which is why in the ecumenical language of 16th Century reformation England, the content of His Grace's latest entry, would have been described as a "twofer".

3 April 2011 at 11:42  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Anonymous @ 11.33, you are quite right, but that still doesn't mean that AV is good. The election in the state of New South Wales on 26th March saw a swing of 17% against the Australian Labor Party and the victory of the Liberal-National Party coalition. Significantly the Greens, who are extremist left-wing anti-semites, polled way below expectations, returning just one MP, their first ever. Australian AV operates in tandem with compulsory voting.

Here is some comment from the Australian think-tank Centre for Independent Studies on the topic.

'Reconsidering compulsory voting

The NSW election made me reconsider my opposition to compulsory voting.

The case against compulsion is that people with little interest in public affairs are driven into polling booths. A good citizen – according to the classic liberal conception – should not need to be forced to fulfil his or her fundamental civic duty.

The fear is that the votes of the informed and public-spirited will be discounted by the votes of the apathetic and ignorant, who only turn out to avoid the fine. The collective wisdom of the polity is reduced.

In addition, people cannot choose to stay away in disgust with the low standards of politics. If ever there was an election when voters wished to register their contempt for the political class by not turning out, last Saturday’s was it.

The counter view is that most compelled voters take their civic duty to decide who governs seriously. Most cast their ballot for one of the major parties because they know something about their programs. They do not spoil their ballot or vote for a minor party, such as the Australian Greens.

Commentators have noted the underperformance of the Greens at the NSW election. No matter the circumstances, the Green vote does not seem capable of rising much higher than 10% of first preferences.

I think compulsory voting plays a role in keeping the Greens politically marginalised, relatively speaking.

The NSW Labor Party shed an unprecedented number of votes. But most of these votes went straight to the Coalition and only a small percent to the Greens. This happened even in the key inner-city seats that the Greens were tipped to win: ‘Trotsky-ville’ (Balmain) and ‘The People’s Republic of Marrickville.’

The Greens’ agenda is radical and its constituency is the tertiary ‘educated,’ latte-left who are engaged with politics and ideologically motivated. Nothing short of a disaster of biblical proportions would keep Greens supporters away from the polls. A low turnout in NSW would have been in the interest of the Greens, as it would have increased the value of its rusted on (composted?) 10% of the vote.

But if there had been no compulsion to vote, and had Labor voters either stayed away in disgust or not taken the duty to decide between the major parties seriously and drifted to the Greens, then the election might have turned out differently.

The Greens might have won the seats they didn’t, and the election might have shifted the political culture in the state and the nation to the Left.

Instead, the compelled voters of NSW, in their collective wisdom, helped keep the Greens on the political fringe – where they belong.

This suggests that compulsory voting helps put the ‘main’ in mainstream politics. Therefore, despite what I think about compulsory voting in theory, in practice the outcomes are not malign.

Dr Jeremy Sammut is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies.'

3 April 2011 at 11:47  
Blogger WitteringsfromWitney said...

Your Grace,

Not having been a member of UKIP in 2000, although I now am (2006), in respect of Atkinson's first paragraph I can but rely on what I believe is considered the definitive history of UKIP, "A Hard Pounding" by Dr. Peter Gardner. (still available from a public library, where they exist!)

It would appear from that book that Atkinson could be accused of 'sour grapes' and his insistence of a link between the Third Reich and the EU no doubt did him much harm at the time of his bid for the Leadership.

However his comments regarding AV are worthy of consideration. I too am against AV, but only on the principle that if the voting system is to be changed then a choice of all available options should be given - and not a choice decided by the political elite, a choice designed to strengthen their 'hold on power'.

I have always maintained that a concentration on their policies would bear fruit, even under FPTP, if only they would 'get their act together'.

3 April 2011 at 11:50  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3 April 2011 at 11:55  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Sound stuff from Rodders. But (and it's a very big but) we have watched all of our political parties in turn become ineligible for the support of civilised British people. So upon whom now are we to bestow our votes?

If not UKIP, then whom?

None of the above will not support withdrawal of this country from the EU. And more importantly, None of the above will not provide us with a vision of the future which will appeal to the electorate.

3 April 2011 at 11:58  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Isn't one of the problems of the FPTP system that the ultimate choice of government is made in a small number of geographical areas these days:

Flick back and forth between these maps:

Very rough I know but it gives a flavour of it.

3 April 2011 at 12:00  
Blogger Willie said...

One man one vote must be the mantra to repeat as long and loudly as possible.
Churchill was right. The adoption of AV would transfer the putting together of a governing coalition into the hands of politicians to be concluded behind closed doors. The ability to call politicians to account would become even more remote under the cover of "stability" which is the the same as the "end of Yah Boo politics" newspeak for there no longer being any need for oratorical skills amongst the new professional political class.
Keep it simple, clear and obvious. Use your vote and vote NO.

3 April 2011 at 12:05  
Anonymous berserker-nkl said...

Willie posts--The adoption of AV would transfer the putting together of a governing coalition into the hands of politicians to be concluded behind closed doors.

Yes and that's why I shall be voting NO.

Here's a suggestion: do away with all political parties and at a General Election vote for the candidate (representative) you think is best and whose general drift: say right of centre and anti or pro this or that, that you agree with. Of course, you may not get the perfect candidate but do you now?

In parliament, there would still be groupings of the Left, Right and Centre but you would have no whips or career minded decisions by the old politicards. This is simplistic but you get my drift.

Anyone want to tell me what is against this and has it been done anywhere?

3 April 2011 at 12:46  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

Thank you YG for putting that article up as it is a very good argument against AV.

I am for UKIP currently, but definitely against AV and it saddens me that the party I am supporting is for it.

3 April 2011 at 13:10  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Those in favor of our system of governance often claim that,"If you do not vote, then you do not have a right to complain about the outcome."

IMO; few statements could be further from the truth.

Voting in elections only encourages these people into believing that they have a right to tell you how to live your life, tax you as much as they please, fight wars, therefore murder in your name, and carry on indoctrinating, as well as not properly educating your children.

UKIP was either originally set up to deliberately divide conservative opinion, or was swiftly subverted by the ESTABLISHMENT to have the exact same effect.

I do not need to prove this assertion, as the proof of this pudding was in the eating. This particular pudding has now been eaten, and we now can plainly see the results of doing so.

Which is more EU, not less EU.

Democracy is a cruel game. It is a game. A game which from its very conception, was designed to be one that the people could only ever ultimately lose.

It could be argued that democracy is better then the alternatives, but this is also untrue.

Democracy is only better then the alternatives the establishment has presented us with, which are not alternatives, they are deliberately created 'bogy-men.' Like for example Stalins, Soviet Union, Pol-Pots Cambodia, or Castros Cuba.

There is a better form of government known as a Free Constitutional Republic. The sort of government that The USA used to have before its constitution was systematically side-lined into virtual non-existence by utterly corrupted democracy.

The truth is RIGHTS, human or otherwise, do not now, and have never really existed. What exists, and for not a whole lot longer for the vast majority, are only privileges.

Privileges that can be taken away as quickly as they can be granted, by those who set themselves up as being qualified to make those sorts of decisions; which are of course THE ESTABLISHMENT, as it ALWAYS was in the past, and always will be in the future.

Yes, you understood correctly. WE HAVE NO RIGHTS WHATSOEVER, and never have had any.

We are subjects of The Crown, or citizens of the state. We are not individual human beings with a God given right to even life, certainly not property, never mind the right to living a free fully conscious existence.

We are the owned play things of our own ruling class elites.

Why do I keep repeating, what should be so completely self-apparent?

Firstly because it is not, thanks to our wholly corrupted mass media, and education system.

Secondly, because if you do not know where you actually stand, you have absolutely no possible chance of making your standing any better; as well as little enough, even if you do.

I am sorry that the truth hurts, however it is the truth all the same.

3 April 2011 at 13:20  
Anonymous Papal Bill said...

Amen to Rodney Atkinson

3 April 2011 at 13:35  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Papal Bill"


3 April 2011 at 14:24  
Anonymous graham wood said...

Anabaptist said...

Sound stuff from Rodders. But (and it's a very big but) we have watched all of our political parties in turn become ineligible for the support of civilised British people. So upon whom now are we to bestow our votes?
If not UKIP, then whom?
None of the above will not support withdrawal of this country from the EU. And more importantly, None of the above will not provide us with a vision of the future which will appeal to the electorate.

Good, short and accurate summary with which I agree - as also the posts from Berserker and Atlas.

Is it not true that we have witnessed for the past few decades is the failure of democracy per se - but rather the total failure of the party political system which actually robs the voter of his power over the democratic process and treu representaion by his MP.
This is wholly due to the Party system in general and the Whip system which ensures that the MP will be motivated FIRSTLY in monst instances by party policy rather than by his own convictions.
AV would not abolish such anomalies.
Some of the electorate have grapsed that our governance does not come from Westminster but Brussels - but not yet enough have grasped this.
This then is the dilemma in which all three main parties in the H of C, in the Lords, and dare I say it, within the monarchy are more than content with status quo and Brussels rules OK.
Mixed in with this is the totalitarianism of the Cabinet concept (meeting in secret in which all major policies under EU hegemony are decided)
Neither the voter nor the backbencher can either know or do much about decisions already taken there, or indeed at EU level.
Thus it is that the Cabinet system replaces any real democratic representation, and the role of Parliament as the supreme national authority.
Leaving the EU is a first vital step before true parliamentary reform can begin IMO.

3 April 2011 at 14:41  
Anonymous berserker-nkl said...

Atlas Shrugged posts: --The truth is RIGHTS, human or otherwise, do not now, and have never really existed. What exists, and for not a whole lot longer for the vast majority, are only privileges

Simone Weil wrote that- The Greeks had no conception of rights. They had no words to express it. They were content with the name of justice.

She goes on to say that the idea of RIGHTS came from Rome and it was pagan and unbaptisable. She also writes that RIGHTS are always asserted in a tone of contention; and when this tone is adopted, it must rely upon force in the background or it will be laughed at.

3 April 2011 at 14:53  
Anonymous luikkerland said...

Behind the message of "voting for UKIP is folly" is an intention to persuade people to accept the inevitable destruction of Christian Britain through the misrule of the established political class. There is no other interpretation to be made.

And why do all your genuflecting contributors call you Your Grace? I don't see any evidence of any real Christian sentiment in these pages, are you meant to be a clergyman, or is it a gimmick?

3 April 2011 at 16:26  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

They are just piling more sand upon sand to shore up a fraudulant ponsy scheme and wish to convince us the house of cards is real.

Elections are tosh, get prepared for survival the day is coming when all your key taping skills will be useless.

Either the Man in your face is right or you are right, what is it going to be, forget titles, labels, ologies and isms. The Man wants to penetrate your ring.

Are you going to take it.

3 April 2011 at 17:10  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Bit paranoid and over the top if you ask me.

I'm not a supporter of AV but it will have to be defeated by calm and rational arguments, not quasi-hysterical predictions of doom and manipulation of the masses by a corrupt, bogey ruling elite.

3 April 2011 at 17:16  
Anonymous MrJ said...

The main point is as stated in the quoted letter: "Coalition Governments are constructed in parliament AFTER an election and are covert arrangements made behind closed doors by party leaders, at the cost of voters and back benchers."

Some will regard that as advantage, others (like Rodney Atkinson) not.

And NB the further remark in the letter: "AV has all the attributes of bad law - it is complicated, not generally understood, difficult to scutinise and therefore open to fraud, gives some voters more power than others and the rulers more power than the ruled." For some that will be decisive.

It remains possible for anyone to vote NO in the AV referendum, whether or not proposing to vote for a UKIP candidate (in a constituency where one happens to be standing).

To be thoroughly prosaic: it also continues to be the fact that, under the political system of this country (as well as of others), the pros and cons of either choice against any other choices may be more of a toss up or protest than a positively determined conviction. The outcomes are always uncertain and depend on the whims of other voters, the course of events and the trustworthines of those exercising persuasive or coercive power or influence.

Historical footnote: as all the world knows, the 19c. Representation of the People Acts were mainly about the advantages to be gained by political parties in a system where whipping MPs was a major instrument of cabinet government (as a means of keeping at bay the risks of mob rule), in the hundred years from the exile of Napoleon to the outbreak of the world-wide conflict between UK and allies and Germany and allies. This has been followed by a period of international treaty organisations such as UNO and its ancilliaries and EU: what now, what next?

-- noting berserker-nkl..."Simone Weil wrote... that RIGHTS are always asserted in a tone of contention; and when this tone is adopted, it must rely upon force in the background or it will be laughed at."

3 April 2011 at 17:18  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Oh, and by the way, a proper defence of the current 'first past the post' system will have to include justification of the fact that most post-war elections have been minority, in terms of votes cast, yet majority when it comes to seats gained.

3 April 2011 at 17:21  
Anonymous Dover Straight said...

The problem with Mr Atkinson's letter is that he complains about the weaknesses & shortcomings of UKIP but the summary of his letter is a double negative, i.e no positive answers or suggestions as to the solution of the problem of self serving, political parties that will sell or rent their own grandmas in exchange for power. whose concept of democracy is long forgotten. Politics is no longer about what the people want or voted for, it's spin, spin, spin. New logos, new slogans. But same old rubbish in a different bin.
If UKIP can deliver us out of the clutches of the E.U spivs then they get my vote. I'll worry about AV when we are liberated from the disease of Eurotyranny. If UKIP lets down I'll vote elsewhere. But let's eradicate the dinosaurs of Westminster that have ruled for too long first.

3 April 2011 at 19:04  
Blogger Mark Wadsworth said...

What a load of drivel.

Every single argument so far advanced against AV applies in spades to FPTP.

3 April 2011 at 19:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whilst I am also against AV, we should perhaps consider that the voting system for Westminster is rapidly becoming irrelevant. To out it bluntly, our economy is being suffocated, our indebtedness is rising, and or armed forces are being run down. It is clear that some sort of 'shake up' of any kind is desirable, and the sooner the better. Once the broad sunlit uplands of a free UK are reached (ha ha), these things can be re-examined.

3 April 2011 at 19:21  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Mark Wadsworth_Yes(more or less), don't we know that?

3 April 2011 at 19:24  
Anonymous Mike (England) said...

i must say that this "yes" support has put me right off ukip, after all if they are prepared to sacrifice the very basis of our democracy for a few seats (at most) in westminster then how can they be trusted to do anything they claim to support.

its bad enough that the current tory party is about as conservative as ed balls and that was before it got watered down by this shameful coalition with the lib-dems but the thought of this being the future of british democracy is something everyone should fear becuse we simply could never get an eu referendum whilst the liberals had a say in politics.

3 April 2011 at 19:52  
Blogger Dick the Prick said...

Your Grace

Good article but one finds it strange to be agreeing with Mr Atlas. It matters not a jot anyway, MPs are pointless these days.


3 April 2011 at 20:03  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Hey, Mr luikkerland -- You ask Cranny: 'And why do all your genuflecting contributors call you Your Grace?'

Just for the record, Mr L, I have never addressed Cranny as Your Grace. Nor would I address a real, corporeal 'bishop' in such terms. These titles and affectations are anathema to the simplicity of Christ's churches, and of Jesus, who said that the lords of the gentiles may have expected such honorifics, but it does not become his followers to be so addressed.

However, I am second to none in my admiration for Cranny's erudition, to say nothing of his industry.

Even though I sometimes disagree with him.

3 April 2011 at 20:11  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Mr.luikkerland -- we're British and we like it, OK? It's fun, it's full of cultural and religious echoes, and it's better than barons and eminences and other foreign gubbins.

3 April 2011 at 20:29  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...


Being a wee bit anal and puritanical aren't we?

How would you address Queen Elizabeth? 'Queenie'? 'Lizzie'?
'Old Girl'? No harm in a bit of respect being shown to those holding such positions. Afer all, it's the office not the person that is receiving recognition. And what about a High Court Judge? If you were an MP would you use the title 'My Right Honourable Friend', even though there's probably little that's honourable about him or her?

Get over it!

And, frankly, to answer the original question, this calling of an anonymous blogger 'Your Grace' smacks of public school boys having a lark.

3 April 2011 at 20:31  
Blogger haddock said...

Nigel Farage has but one vote in the referendum, and UKIP as a party.... not even that.
Members of UKIP of course have a vote each....a great many of them will vote NO..... as I will.

3 April 2011 at 20:33  
Anonymous Celtic Monk said...

I think that everyone has missed the most important point :

"The reason why fewer and fewer people vote for the "major" political parties is not becasue of the electoral system but because British politics is morally and politically bankrupt."

We are now in a posision were your average party will do almost anything, promise almost anything, say almost anthing to get power and hold on to it. Those who will not play the game are removed to the back benches as quickly as possible. What is needed is a real shake up and the present suggested change will do not help at all.

3 April 2011 at 20:52  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Anabaptist: "However, I am second to none in my admiration for Cranny's erudition, to say nothing of his industry."

Me too, actually. It must take a lot to keep something like this going, even for a sometime wordsmith.

3 April 2011 at 21:00  
Anonymous non mouse said...

What Celtic Monk says!

Why are we waiting...
Why y are we waiting...
Why, o-oh why-y are we wai-ai-ting?

3 April 2011 at 21:04  
Anonymous not a machine said...

And to think UKIP was doing so well in the current position (sighs)

Having watched the celebrity launch of AV , I felt like I was being sold somthing terribly nice, but somehow was not quite as good as my trusty steed of FPTP , were it in better condition.
Some parts of the media went on full tilt with rather spurious argument with the tired old lines "yes but members keep there seats " "what we need is reform and this is a solution" etc etc .

I can recall the early UKIP days who by poking fun at the EU legislation got some popular following who could see that was a bit wierd and authoritarian. Perhaps now it is just authoritarian ,fraudulent and cost greedy. The party then seemed to have become used to been token radical and covered up its less sharp image with , the talent that is Nigel Farrage , there were money troubles , highly vexed national meetings and power struggles , whilst all the time there manfesto was getting thinner .
I understand why UKIP may want AV , as they have bought into the idea that minority parties have a better chance , but it lacks ambition .they also have not really understood that AV will make more coalitions , and so they would have to decide who to work with. Before you know it they would be the little football in the game , which AV creates in allowing the expenable runt.

The fog of coalitions , then so easily becomes routines behind closed doors , as you dont get what you voted for .Those in the game sort the game out , of course to then show it works , the public will be none the wiser on so many things , to make it work.

AV will make a mockery of the relationship between voter and civil legislature "the public have spoken" well the maths may have and will continue to do so.

AV does not either bring the immediate justice of a bad encumbants removal , one would only have to evade and waffle sufficently to ensure enough second votes thought you were an alright person.

I thank Mr fawkes for his other analysis of voting slip confusion , which gives an insight into how the new position of the voter will worker , well I like A , couldnt possibily vote B , C did come and visit me and I didnt have time to see what D had to say. There is bias built into it , as many will perhaps begin to forget about polices and manfestos and produce the equivalent of political astrology on leaflets .
"Hi ime Labour , with uranus in retrograde ill be feeling as though I dont have to explain where money comes from , Ill make a gift of new building to someone special , which is you , I love everyone and with some incywincey tax increases , people in town halls will get paid more to run your lives for you"

Can you also imagine the hustings, so manicured , prescott reduced to his pink tutu so as to be as "right on" as the others , and the requirement for objective answer to pertanent question quietly dies .

let your yes be yes and your nay be nay , is the publics best chance to question the candidate to ensure they get the polices that the person spoke of .

AV is a fraud unto the public chance to see who knows what they will do for them.

My motto : dont leave it up to maths , vote no to AV on may 5th , or they will be spoon feeding you crap for the rest of your lives.

3 April 2011 at 21:38  
Anonymous Old Blue Eyes said...

As a lifelong but lately disenchanted Conservative who is militantly eurosceptic I have recently considered changing my allegiance to UKIP. That was until I saw that they had nailed their colours to the yes to AV mast. Do they not understand that should AV become law it would perpetuate a Libdem influenced coalition for ever and end any chance of us ever getting rid of the bonds of the EU.

3 April 2011 at 21:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearie me.

Changing to AV would not be the end of democracy here any more than it was in Australia.
Does anyone really suppose that the Australians are not operating with the democratic principle of one person, one vote?

No elector is put in a privileged position through the use of AV for an election.

Each elector is provided with just one ballot paper, and every ballot paper is counted in every round unless the elector has chosen to abstain from further rounds by expressing no further preference.

Nor would AV somehow set the present main party cartel in stone, any more than it is now, and it has the potential to provide smaller and newer parties with a small but significant help in making progress and broadening their support and maybe eventually growing strong enough to break that cartel.

If somebody detests the main parties and won't vote for any of them under FPTP, then they won't have to vote for them under AV either - not with the variant we will be having here.

They can just put 1 against the name of their favoured minor party candidate instead of X, fold up their ballot paper and put it in the box.

Finally, to be absolutely clear, AV is not PR - it's a minor refinement of FPTP which would have minor effects on the outcome of the next general election, but over the longer term would gradually have more substantial effects for the benefit of the country.

It can't be PR because it still elects a single MP per geographical constituency, something which I think is very important.

Still, if anyone doesn't want to make use of this lucky and unique opportunity to make a minor improvement to our electoral system, and has some idea of what they'd prefer - don't tell me what it is, but tell me how you will get it in the teeth of opposition from the political elite, and especially the Tory part of it.

Rodney Atkinson should know all about that, because he and Norris McWhirter tried to initiate treason trials against ministers in the Major government over the Maastricht Treaty, and the politicians simply shut them down.

3 April 2011 at 22:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the hell is Rodney Atkinson?

3 April 2011 at 22:17  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...


Anabaptist - as usual - presents things clearly & succinctly.

In my own particular style, I would declare this to be an utter crock of childish BS.

The "No" campaign really does come across as very desperate. Do the phrases "clutching at straws" or "barrel scraping" mean anything to you.

The "No" campaign certainly seem to endow AV with more revolutionary power than the AV campaign do. I wonder how the vast majority of democratic societies/organisations survive at all considering very few of them use FPTP (including the Conservative party).

3 April 2011 at 22:33  
Blogger Ernsty and Sad Tiddles said...

My Mate Not a Machine said 3 April 2011 21:38

Spot on, as usual. Ernst fully concurs.

Let keep everything crossed for a 'NO to AV' success. lol.


3 April 2011 at 22:45  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Good article but one finds it strange to be agreeing with Mr Atlas. It matters not a jot anyway, MPs are pointless these days.


3 April 2011 20:03

Dear Mr Prick

Why strange?

If you had been following my comments on the internet over the last 5 years, you would have noticed that much, if not all of what I predicted 5 years ago, is now old news.

Predicting the future is not as difficult as it may seem, certain government bodies such as The RIIA have been doing this type of thing for a very long time; 'predicting' the future is indeed The RIIA's main reason for being. The other reason is to do everything in their considerable power to make these predictions come to pass.

Although The RIIA is a secretive organization, its existence is not a secret, indeed it actually publishes some of its reports in national news-papers, such as The Guardian, and Times.

If you know the destination, it is very easy to work out the rout. If you know who is really in charge, and do any amount of serious study into these peoples M.O. then working out which means of travel they will employ, is almost as easy.

You really do not have to be either notably intelligent, or well informed to know where we are all going, whether we like it or not.

Words like handcart and hell come to mind, however it may not turn out to be that bad.

Therefore your future is to a greater, or a slightly lesser extent mapped out in great detail for you. These establishment sponsored maps, are then handed down to your intellectual class via our top universities, then to civil-servants, and then finally to elected politicians, usually just after they have get their feet under their respective ministries table.

Not being a mushroom is therefore not over difficult, if you remember the following.

Work on the assumption that if the media clearly wishes you to believe a certain something, especially if the media organization is The BBC, then the exact opposite is very likely to be the case.

Work on the assumption that if a politicians mouth is moving, he is either having his lunch, on speed, cock, or coke, or does not have the slightest clue what he is talking about.

If a politician claims to care, and that he intends to do something about it, he is either suicidally insane, very new to his job, or lying through his teeth.

Any politician that uses the terms left wing or right wing in any possible context, should be avoided like the plague, better still laughed at.

Understand that power is not what turns the average politician on, because after no more then a week or two in parliament they are completely assured that they do not actually have any real power whatsoever, out side of their own bathrooms.

What turns them on, is relative fame, vanity, a little fortune, their own natural sense of superiority, and a usually highly perverse, or athletic sexual preference.

Assume until you are completely convinced of otherwise, by very real, conclusive and verifiable evidence, that EVERYTHING you have ever been told about the way this world is actually run, virtually without exception, is either a lie, or is based on a lie.

The exact same goes for any sage, theologian, priest, or so called journalist working for any main stream news organization, or educated in any kind of establishment owned or run institution, you care to mention. Which is of course ALL of them.

Indeed remember that you cannot even trust myself to either know the truth, or tell the likes of yourself, even if I knew it.

The Trick is to start thinking for yourself, for quite possibly the first time in your entire life.

And finally remember this.

As Orwell once wrote.

In times such as these, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

3 April 2011 at 22:59  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

For all those who love FPTP so much ... you realise that a change to AV won't affect you at all. You can still go to the polling booth, choose 1 candidate and hope you picked the winning one ... exactly as you do now.

If you've picked the winning one, your vote will count in exactly the same way as it is now with FPTP. If you haven't selected the winning one your vote will be completely worthless, as it is now with FPTP.

So basically, vote Yes to change things or vote Yes to keep things the same. AV empowers you to choose :o)

As someone who's been out canvassing on this issue, my findings are this: the vast majority of people who've listened to the arguments say "Yes"; the vast majority of those who haven't listened to the arguments say "No"; the vast majority of those who say "No" but then listen to the arguments are easily persuaded to change their minds. The only way the "No" campaign will win is if we can't present the arguments to sufficient number of people in time. I do fear this since the vast majority of voters are elderly who are stubbornly tribal and conservative (small 'c') about voting & change.

3 April 2011 at 23:01  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Incidentally ... although an advocate of AV, I realise it won't make the slightest shred of difference to political outcomes. Our parliament is a sham; a faux democracy. I'm broadly in agreement with Atlas Shrugged

Under FPTP or AV I shall continue in my refusal to give a vote to any of the lib/lab/cons. And would always advocate others do the same ... UKIP, BNP, Greens, Independents ... anyone but the big 3.

3 April 2011 at 23:10  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Sorry, just in case some of you may have become a little confused by the above.

A mushroom; is a highly primitive form of plant-life, commercially cultivated by being kept permanently in the dark, and often entirely fed on Bull-Shit.

3 April 2011 at 23:17  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Come on rebel saint , havent you worked out whose backing the yes to AV lot yet.

It has nothing to do with breaking the alledged spent token of tribal politics and life will suddenly improve for all and sundry.

They will simply make tactical voting campaigns that ensure there buddy coalition partner gets in.
Cant you see it only requires one other party to play the public wrong to get the required result.

Let me try another way : Do you believe it is possible to jerrymander an AV election more than a FPTP election???

3 April 2011 at 23:23  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Not a Machine ...
I don't really give a damn who's backing each of the campaigns (though it is possible to find out who is backing the Yes campaign because they've made all their donor details public - unlike the No campaign)

I care about justice and reason.

FPTP is ideal for a 2 horse race. For everything else it fails.

Ultimately, like I said above, it won't amount to a whole hill of beans. However there is a reason why no new democracy (including the London Assembly, Welsh assembly, or any of our political parties, or Iraq, or pretty much any other post-war democracy) ever chooses a purely FPTP electoral system. Coz it's unjust, unrepresentative & shite.

3 April 2011 at 23:40  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Why are you all even bothering with this argument when what we want is a referendum on the euSSR?

Why vote for anything the bulls choose to feed us?

I wonder what would happen if we had a REFUSE TO VOTE FOR ANY OF THEM campaign?

wv: pards ---those of the unchanging spots, I guess.

3 April 2011 at 23:42  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Your Grace, I've known about Farage's preference for months. So what? I supported Thatcher but I didn't blindly agree with everything she said or did. I will continue to vote UKIP because of the appalling absence of any real conservative party protecting the interests of the country and it's people, However,I'm still going to vote "NO" to AV.

Atkinson is being ridiculous if he thinks that because the UKIP leadership supports AV, it renders their message invalid because they have jumped aboard the AV bandwagon. It doesn't. Cameron is the only main leader who professes to be uncomfortable with AV but I wouldn't vote for him even if he paid me beacause he's a proven traitor and liar and he can't sell us out fast enough.

4 April 2011 at 08:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

non mouse - You think that what we need is a referendum on the EU.

Fine, that's what you think is most important and that's what you want, but how are you going to get it?

How are you going to put enough pressure on the political elite to force them to support the passage of the law needed for a referendum?

Cameron has already said that he wouldn't consider holding an in-out referendum on the EU, so how are you going to make him change his mind?

There isn't enough internal pressure in the Tory party, and there never will be unless there is also enough external pressure, and how are you going to generate enough external pressure?

AV could be a small but significant help to UKIP to make progress so that eventually it might create enough electoral pressure on the main parties to get you what you want.

Although the upside for UKIP is no more than that - a small but significant help - I honestly cannot see any downside and doesn't UKIP need all the help it can get?

4 April 2011 at 08:24  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

Surely it's hardly fair to criticize UKIP for supporting AV when it is the LibDems who have been the driving force behind this referendum.
UKIP, as far as I am aware, has never sought a change to AV; the only referendum they wanted was one on whether to stay in the EU or not. But in that we are having a referendum on AV, like it or not, I would have thought it perfectly reasonable for them to adopt a position in favour, as presumably, like the LibDems, they believe it might help them to power. It is Labour's position which I feel is both totally unacceptable and undemocratic, in that they believe a change to AV could permanently prevent this country from ever again having a Tory government, and will continue to return Labour members in their "rotten boroughs".
FPTP would be perfectly fair if only we had equal sized constituencies through the whole of the UK

4 April 2011 at 09:22  
Blogger Derek said...

As far as has been read, Atlas Shrugged has stated the most intelligent, and obvious comments. (Yes, the Mushroom analogy was understood).

Just as most believe voting will change their futures for the better (you wouldn't be allowed to vote for anyone who actually would - they will not be made available), so my Mother-in-law believes the drugs she is prescribed will make her better, despite there being clear evidence that they are causing her harm. Why? Having spent all her working life in the NHS, she has become indoctrinated into the 'system', just as the people have been indoctrinated into voting 'democratically' for a better future.

Suckers. Turkeys voting for Christmas?

4 April 2011 at 09:29  
Anonymous David Hallowes said...

I’m in two minds concerning how to vote over AV so the more I read from both viewpoints the better though I will probably have to go with my gut instinct. I thought I’d add my thoughts. If I stray off-piste at any point I beg everyone’s forgiveness.
First, Andrew Rawnsley, The Guardian’s excellent chief political commentator, wrote an excellent article on 3rd April extolling the relative virtues of voting ‘yes’ to AV. Here it is: ‘Adopting the alternative vote would be a very British revolution’:
I hope both Cranmer and Mr Rawnsley do not mind (as it is meant to help towards a constructive and enlightening debate) if I quote his closing remarks:- ‘Now, there is a different electoral system in which some votes do count for a great deal more than others. There is an electoral system under which the complexion of the government is usually decided by a minority of voters in the minority of seats that are swing marginals. There is an electoral system which induces politicians to pander only to this minority of voters rather than encouraging them to reach out more widely. There is a system under which extremists, whom the majority would never want to see elected, can nevertheless win seats with minority support. That system is called first past the post’.
I see merits in Rawnsley’s argument as I do in Mr Atkinson’s article, not least his assertion that ‘British politics is morally and politically bankrupt.’ Surely however the ‘angry abstainers’ will have a box to tick in that they can, as before, exercise their right to abstain from voting? I rather agree that in some ways AV would indeed be a ‘stitch up’ and certainly that it makes it highly probable that Britain in future will be regularly governed by coalitions put together with wheeler-dealing behind closed doors after people have voted, as is now evident from events immediately after the 2010 general election.
Not a happy prospect given what we have seen transpire in politics over the last few decades but is it so different from that which always existed in Britain? Has power has not always been exercised after elections? Do we not live in what is effectively an elected autocracy? Even Gaddafi the dictator for years allowed regular referendums on major issues in Libya. I make no case for that but to what extent does Joe Public get to decide on major issues other than vote for a party candidate every few years. If one’s views do not mirror the majority in a safe constituency and one lives there for life, effectively one’s vote is never of any real relevance.
As Rawnsley accurately states, in many constituencies the majority of voters have little chance of ever voting out a sitting candidate/party as they hold the largest minority percentage of the vote. I can hear people now saying ‘yes, but that’s the point’ and fair enough, but it is a fact that for many years governments have been elected by a minority of the vote surely? Let’s say that the turnout is as high as 80% of eligible voters and that the winning party gains a majority with 40% of the overall national vote. That means just 32% of eligible voters (including those that abstained) return the government of the day, be it Conservative or Labour.
Let remember that whilst the Tories gave away too many powers to Europe the current system also returned the most deceitful, dishonest, manipulative government for surely a hundred years during which time Labour transferred so many powers to Brussels and through spin and ‘New Age’ social engineering/funding changed the landscape of Britain forever, in some ways for the better I think but in many ways for the worse...

4 April 2011 at 10:32  
Anonymous David Hallowes said...

...One could argue that the current system is also a political stitch up by the two main parties in that it means a substantial percentage of voters’ votes have no meaning and the Tories and Labour are guaranteed to share power at different times. Surely the existing system helped foster what Mr Atkinson describes thus:- ‘To that extent it is perfectly in harmony with the petty fascist society created by the British political class, to which the British people are turning their backs in utter comtempt. A class which UKIP now foolishly seeks to join.
I do not argue that AV would cleanse this sickness. It might make it worse. But we in Britain have long assumed arrogantly that as the Mother of Parliaments ours was the epitome of working democracy. Is it though? I understand and empathise with the frustration of many, not least those on the traditional right of the Conservative party who feel cut out of things, but we must in a democracy also be willing to accept that perhaps there are not enough of us to have won the argument. I appreciate this is debatable but the principle holds true.
I don’t like European politics. I distrust it. Personally I’d rather we now leave the EU whilst remaining firm friends and trading with them. I’d have Britain rebuild its merchant shipping fleet – on the proviso those ships are built in British shipyards by British workers and not in France, Finland, Korea or elsewhere – and seek to trade with the wider world. That was our past and is or should be our future, not least because it is in the East and southern hemispheres that the greatest opportunities for trade and growth lie.
Some positive changes have been wrought in Britain with the help of influence from the EU, not least in changing ingrained attitudes of bigotry. I also feel that this has gone far enough and as with anything, if allowed to run unchecked, it will have a malign influence. This has started to happen. Here is the rule of thumb: Avoid Extremes! Be ready and willing to re-set the sails when the wind has taken one too far on one’s present course. The hardest thing is always to recognise in oneself and one’s party/political view when that has happened. It’s always so much easier to see error in others.
What is really required in British politics is greater openness and truth-telling; that politicians stop taking those they are paid to represent for granted and respect them more. What this would look like and how it can be achieved I know not, but without it frankly it matters not what system of voting Britain chooses.

4 April 2011 at 10:36  
Blogger Gawain Towler said...

Whenever Mr Farage has been asked about the AV referendum he has said, and I paraphrase
1 - It is not the referendum that we should be having, we all know that the important one is who governs us, not 'shuffling deckchairs'.
2 - This is the first national referendum since the EU one back in the seventies, thus it is wrong as a party, not to have a position.
3 - FPTP is bust, it was relevant back in the day, but today it no longer represents the will of the people
4 - AV is a 'miserable compromise' as one Mr Clegg put it, but see 3 above.
5 - UKIP would like to see a different system than that which we have, AV+ for example.
6 - On balance, and leaning only very slightly (UKIP describes its formal support for AV as mild support) UKIP believes that some change would act as a 'crack in the dam' for fuller and better change.
7 - We fully understand that UKIP members sit on both sides of this arguement.

On another matter, and this is all my own, Mr Atkison makes a rather wild claim that most UKIP members left in 2000. I seem to note that UKIP has done far better without his services than it every did before. Going from 3 MEPs in 1999 to getting 13 elected in 2009 and beating Labour into 2nd place. We have just come out of a by-election where we beat both the coalition partners and our opinion poll ratings have never been higher in a non European election year.

We must be doing something right.

Mr Atkinson is replete with spleen and never fails, alongside people lke Alan Sked, to vent it against UKIP whenever he feels it can do most damage. He believes that the EU is a Nazi/German plot. UKIP just feels that the EU isn't suited to our interests, way of life and future.

4 April 2011 at 11:04  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Thank you Gawain.

Mr Farage's position is eminently sensible & balanced.

The desperate, shrill cries of the 'No' campaign are quite sad, and most unbecoming of you Cranmer.

4 April 2011 at 11:17  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Agreed that "Mr Farage's position is eminently sensible & balanced", it is probable that more would come off the fence with Cranmer than with Rebel Saint (4 April 11:17). But May 5 is about AV Etc, not UKIP as such.

4 April 2011 at 13:05  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

It is fascinating to watch a party like UKIP at its moment in history destroy its future with AV.

If AV comes in coalition will never deliver us from the tentacles of the EU.

4 April 2011 at 15:42  
Blogger Ernsty and Sad Tiddles said...

Rebel Saint said 4 April 2011 11:17

"The desperate, shrill cries of the 'No' campaign are quite sad, and most unbecoming of you Cranmer."

Dream on, my young RS. Nothing shrill at all but mere common sense.

With FPTP, even a moron could not get it wrong in punishing a party by refusing to give it your precious vote.

As the elderly are the backbone of the voters who actually are prepared to go and vote, it offers a myriad of chances to confuse them and actually reward the party they want to punish.

The problem is NOT the voting system but THE Mainstream PARTIES and it now appears UKIP want to attach themselves to the LIB/LAB/CON dilemna too. Halfwits?

Now be off with you, my fine lad, and reconsider what you are proposing and promoting with the voter, who gets confused by complexity of the system being promoted.

Old Ernsty. The Original Rebel.

4 April 2011 at 16:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old Ernsty, if you want to punish a party or you don't like a party for some other reason then you can just refuse to give any ranking at all to its candidate! Under the variant of AV we would have you could if you liked vote exactly as you're used to voting under FPTP, except that you put a 1 against a candidate's name rather than an X before folding up your ballot paper and putting it in the box.

4 April 2011 at 16:14  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Well I'm with Ernsty. And I don't like any of the parties.

I'd like to find a way to ignore them completely and shut down all their 'pretend' dialogue!

4 April 2011 at 16:33  
Blogger Ernsty and Sad Tiddles said...

A wily anonymous said 4 April 2011 16:14

"Under the variant of AV we would have you could if you liked vote exactly as you're used to voting under FPTP, except that you put a 1 against a candidate's name rather than an X before folding up your ballot paper and putting it in the box."
except fools will assign pecking orders, not sticking to one, so they shaft me!

However, Ernst may not wish to assign 2, 3 or 4 as he would not want to improve their chance of beating Ernst's 1. FPTP is fine by me, you know the rubbish you will get rather than unaccountable continual coalition..URRRGGH.

That wise Non Mouse said, most excellently!

"And I don't like any of the parties.

I'd like to find a way to ignore them completely and shut down all their 'pretend' dialogue!" AGREED.

Ernst loathes them deeply, as at least the bankers and Energy Companies don't pretend they are on our side and doing our bidding..As mp's do it for our good, obviously.

Could they not all be silent just for a month, the 2 faced blaggards.

Old Ernsty likes you, my boy.


4 April 2011 at 17:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not wily at all, Ernst, completely straightfoward.

Some people, and not all fools, would certainly take advantage of their increased freedom under AV and assign a pecking order.

Maybe 20% of voters, maybe more depending on how they saw the circumstances in their constituency.

To take a frequently quoted example, it could be that some intelligent people who think that it's important that we leave the EU, but who also wouldn't want to risk helping a Labour or LibDem candidate beat a Tory candidate by "wasting" their vote on the UKIP candidate under FPTP, would vote like this under AV:

Tory 2

That would be perfectly sensible, provided they felt sure that the UKIP candidate would be so far down the table of first preferences that he would be eliminated before the Tory candidate.

When the UKIP candidate was eliminated his pile of ballot papers would be broken up and reallocated as each of the electors has directed, and so for those who voted as above their ballot papers would be transferred to the pile belonging to the Tory candidate.

So they would have made their point by supporting a candidate who openly wanted to leave the EU, a policy which is anathema to the Tory leadership, but without jeopardising the chances of the Tory candidate.

I don't know whether you'd still feel that they'd shafted you by arranging for their ballot paper to pay a visit to the UKIP pile en route to the Tory pile, rather than sending it there direct.

But I do know that AV would never allow you to shaft yourself in the way you suggest, because your 2 could never help trump your 1.

They'd both be on the same ballot paper, and that ballot paper would be in 1's pile unless and until he was eliminated, and only then when you no longer had any possibility of getting your first choice would the teller look for a 2 on your ballot paper to see what second choice you'd indicated, if any.

4 April 2011 at 18:22  
Blogger LobotomySpoon82 said...

All this talk of Number 1 and Number 2 reminds of a quote from "Murder By Death":

Lionel Twain: "I'm the greatest, I'm number one!"
Sam Diamond: "To me, you look like number two, know what I mean?"
Dora Charleston: "What DOES he mean, Miss Skeffington?"
Tess Skeffington: "I'll tell you later. It's disgusting."

4 April 2011 at 18:36  
Blogger bwims said...

All very well, but the system is broken now. FPTP only works if you have at least two parties either side of centre.

When they are all left of centre, then democracy has failed.

Under the circumstances, I would rather have a UK ruled by a coalition where there is at least a chance of right-wing representation than a fully socialist strong government committed to the EUSSR.

With FPTP we will NEVER be free of the EU, because people being sheeple with never vote for an incoming party where "their vote may be wasted".

At least AV gives us the chance of weakening the socialist stranglehold of the 3 main parties.

5 April 2011 at 11:22  
Blogger derdrie said...

Don't let the LibDems win with their 'Another LibDem vote' system.
Boiling it all down - AV lets people vote for their principle party, and then gives some people a extra vote to mostly vote LibDem with.
Thats why they will sell their granny for it.

8 April 2011 at 19:38  
Blogger Greg_L-W. said...


how unfortunate that poor Rodney Atkinson has so clearly never understood the British electoral process - It has always been the custom to campaign for those one believes to be the best to win it.

At the time there were those who believed that he was NOT the suitable leader and that he has led nothing before or since to my knowledge may well prove the point.

That he has been the adviser to some, by their choice, is not in dispute but I do believe he was NOT the best man to lead UKIP of those available, at the time.

The corruption of which he speaks would seem largely to have been on his part subsequently with his vitriolic sour grapes - churned out to support his deeply challenged ego.

That Jeffrey Tittford won by a tiny margin in 2000 was a huge relief, though he was far from a good leader he was at least not a divisive leader and he had the experience of having held positions of leadership elsewhere.

Sadly UKIP has never attracted anyone of sufficient competence to lead it forward and thus it is dependent on a series of inadequates as leaders, but where the election has been based upon honest campaigning the best man has tended to win.

That their lack of direction now, relative to the interests of Britain, is clearly subsumed to a malign claque of inadequates and political pygmies currently in leadership and their parasites is indisputable and self evident.

That their current titular leader holds his position by dishonest means is indisputable and may explain his inadequacy as a leader!

However with a period of stability after the 2000 election that was granted by that tiny majority, the party developed through the years of Titford & Knapman, all be it uninspiringly.

Ssubsequent leadership has removed any foundations and grown the party as a bubble based on outright lies, abuse and self service - unfortunately.

It is questionable if UKIP exists other than in the form of a bubble and may vanish as irrelevant as were many of the aspirants to office as with many who achieved office.

I do concur Atkinson's views of AV in the main, but the need to tread his sour grapes on the issue makes for a very poor grade of tonic.

The point overlooked by many is who gives a damn how Politicians are selected in Britain - they have betrayed our Country and no longer have any say in law making and thus attract mere self serving dross.

How one stacks such matter in a farm yard is a matter of little consequence, and the strutting cockerel atop the dung heap is just a noisy popinjay - Sounds much like UKIP does it not?

But look about you and what party is not thus?


25 April 2011 at 22:10  

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