Why you should vote NO this Thursday

In two day’s time, our electoral system could radically change. And if it does, it will not be for the better.
The nation will have to choose between our current electoral system of First pass the post (FPTP)                                                                                                                                                           or a new system called Alternative Vote (AV), where voters not only choose their No. 1 candidate, but also can list other candidates in order of preference.

This posting is to explain what AV is (most don’t have the foggiest) and why, as Catholics and, equally as citizens, its implementation would be disastrous for our country.

Under FPTP, the candidate with the most votes wins. It’s that simple.
Under AV, the person with the most votes doesn’t necessary win. What? Let me explain (now pay attention, it does get complicated).
To get elected, a candidate must get at least 50% of the votes available. So what happens if no candidate achieves this? Firstly, remember that voters can list more than one candidate in an order of preference (however, voters are free to list only one candidate).
When there is no majority choice, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and all second preference candidates (who are still in the contest) on the ballot papers of the eliminated candidate, receive that vote. If this doesn’t produce a clear majority vote for a candidate (50% or more), then the process repeats with the redistribution of the votes of the next candidate with the least votes based on the 3rd preference.

So what is so wrong with that?
Under FPTP, you vote for the person who you want to represent you. If you don’t care, you don’t vote.
Under AV, candidates will get into power by receiving “second-rated” votes, quite likely ticked without proper thought or insight into the candidates worthiness.
AV violates the nature of the vote and will take advantage of people’s apathy to politics.

It is also wide open to tactical abuse. This is more complicated to explain, but put simply, parties will get supporters to vote in such a way that their candidates are less likely to be eliminated. And this isn’t a simple case of listing preference. Confused? This link should explain it better: http://www.av2011.co.uk/Q8.html

If AV does get in, then the only choice we have is to tick the box next to the candidate of choice (affectively voting like under FPTP). Therefore your vote cannot be transferred to another candidate.

FPTP is not a perfect system, but it is fairer, more transparent and proportional than AV. Know where your vote goes. Vote “NO”.



3 thoughts on “Why you should vote NO this Thursday

  1. Hi,

    Hope to look at this website a bit more (my first visit). Personally, I am still to make up my mind which way to vote but would just like to comment on one of the statements in the above article.

    You state:

    “Say you vote for a pro-life candidate, your vote could end up going to a pro-abortion candidate!”

    This is inaccurate to say the least! The only way that could happen is if you deliberately chose a pro-abortion candidate as one of your second or third etc choices, but why would you do that?! Surely you’d just chose another pro-life candidate (if there was one) or decide not to pick anyone else.

    As I said, personally I am still to make up my mind on the issue but the idea that somehow AV would be disastrous from a Catholic perspective seems rather odd to me!

    • Hi Katrina

      I’m afraid I didn’t explain myself properly (my head hadn’t stopped spinning when I published the posting). It is true that your vote couldn’t be transferred to another candidate that you haven’t chosen as a first, second, third, etc preference.

      My point is wider than that and goes beyond Catholics (though they are my target audience).
      AV is so complex that tactical voting maybe required to get your candidate(s) elected. However, the general public will take no more interest in this as they do of our politicians. They will “just tick away”. Even a Catholic could inadvertently vote for a candidate with fundemental views opposed to theirs (pro-life is just one platform to base your vote on) if they don’t do their homework before hand.
      AV might be fine if we were in a position of choosing “the best of a good bunch”. We are not. We will not have better democracy with AV, just more complexity and a befuddle public.
      FPTP works well. The problem with modern democratic governance is not their structure but the people who administrate it on our behalf, people how, in general, have forsaken the divine author of their authority.

      PS: I have edited the posting to make it clearer.

  2. Thank you for this thoughtful summary and the comments.

    Actually pro-Life traditional and other Catholics are quite capable of using tactical voting and electing a pro-abortionist.

    Here is what happened some years back here in Nassau County, Long Island, New York. There was a pro-life Catholic District Attorney, Dennis Dillon, who died last year. Even in his coffin he proudly wore his pro-Life badge on the lapel of his suit. He was voted out of office by a small minority of votes cast for other candidates BY TRADITIONAL AND OTHER PRO-LIFE CATHOLICS and a rabid pro-abortionist feminist was elected in his place.

    This is the reason they gave for their behaviour – at a pro-life demonstration a priest and some of the faithful tried to storm an abortion clinic and were arrested – they pleaded civil liberties and were acquited. What the pro-lifers had wanted Dennis Dillon to do was to phone the police and release the priest etc and stop the court case – obviously he could not misuse his power as District Attorney and do this so they turned against him. These Catholics then cast their votes for the candidates who were pro-abortion and when the pro-abortion feminist won by a tiny margin there were scenes of wild rejoicing – including a traditional priest’s sister jumping up and down shouting with delight “We got him out” – and to this day the pro-abortionist feminist remains District Attorney and the traditional and pro-life Catholics think they did something really clever.

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