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OK, so I'm not sure what you guys call it. In the UK, it's called the Alternative Vote but I know the wikipedia article also calls it instant-runoff voting.

Anyway, in the UK there's going to be a referendum in May on whether to change the current First Past the Post system to the Alternative Vote.

So, I was wondering, seeing as I know you guys have it, what are you views on it? Do you like it? Do you think it's better than your previous system? Is there anything you don't like about it?

From what I've read about it, I really don't like it. So I'm in a bit of a muddle of how to vote because I hate FPTP and want electoral reform, but I don't like the sound of AV. (I really want STV.) So, I want to get the views of people who actually have experience of using it.

 

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Originally Posted by Annia View Post

OK, so I'm not sure what you guys call it.
We call it preferential voting.

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Do you like it?
There's pro's and cons to it. In one way it's fair and good because it means that only a candidate with the support of the majority of the electorate can win, which eliminates the possibility of minority winners - the winning candidate is always the "most preferred" or "least disliked" candidate.

It also good because it allows parties with like-minded policies like Labor and the Greens to "exchange preferences" in order to assist each other to win. Or the Nationals and Liberals (Conservatives) if you're on the other side of the fence.

The bad side is that it promotes a very strong two-party system to the detriment of minor parties and independents. You are also forced to give a preference on the ballot sheet for parties that you don't like E.G - you get a sheet with the parties on it and you have to select how you prefer them - No 1 being your top preference, to No 5 being your least favourite. I always put the conservatives (Liberal as we call them) at number five, but I would prefer not to vote express a vote for them at all.

It's also more complicated to count and can take a while for the result to be finalised.

The ballot sheet, although very straightforward if you read it properly, can be very confusing to immigrants who don't speak the lingo. I don't think a lot of immigrants to the country know what the hell they're doing on the ballot sheet.

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Do you think it's better than your previous system?
It's been this way since 1929 so I wouldn't know.

The one major difference that could affect the UK with this system is that in Australia it is compulsory to vote, which isn't the case in the UK, so this could make changing to our system somewhat tricky.
 
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