AV or not AV: an addendum

There’s a strange logic to No2AV’s arguments; they’re trying to push both the “AV will lead to more coalitions” and “AV will lead to less coalitions” on different pages on their Why Vote No? In a sense, they’re kind of right; if AV was adopted for 1997, then possibly, yes, the Tories would’ve been disadvantaged because there was a huge anti-Tory sentiment. But if it was adopted for 1992, it would’ve led to a hung parliament; Major barely hung on then. In a way, AV makes more decisive elections slightly more decisive, and muddled elections more muddled.

This exposes one of the supposed advantages of FPTP: according to them, only FPTP allows voters to “kick the rascals out”, like in 1997, and implies voting systems such as AV, STV, AMS, do not. Why don’t you ask the Irish?

BBC Ireland correspondent Mark Simpson said Fianna Fail is facing almost complete wipe-out in Dublin.

Its share of the vote in the capital city is estimated at just 8%.

Analysts say the party will struggle to win more than one seat.

Ireland uses STV for its Dáil elections, with constituencies electing three to five members each. This means that, with transfers, candidate must amass 16%-25% of the vote. With AV, you need 50% of the vote (as, effectively, AV is STV-for-one-constituency). Fianna Fail are the ruling party, after all; if this doesn’t show that preferential voting can kick the rascals out, I don’t know what will.

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