Personally AV makes perfect sense to me, though it does not really solve some of the problems with electoral systems.
For a start, the idea that the population at large can make a sensible decision on who would run the county is just not sensible. Whilst there are a lot of people that can think about things rationally, and given accurate impartial information, can make a sensible informed decision, the majority cannot. Sadly most of us decide based on what the media feeds us and what our peers think, and decide based on that. We decide on a party, typically, and then tick the box for that candidate. We are not picking a person to represent us - we are picking someone to count as a number in the battle to make a government. Even intelligent people do not have the experience and training to decide how things should be run as the decisions the government makes are complex and very different to typical normal life. It is mad that we let untrained people become MPs and run the country in the first place! It is not a sane system. The truth is though that democracy is about the best system we can come up with and certainly better than the alternatives that have been tried (well, in my opinion anyway).
So, AV or not AV? Well it seems clear to me that AV is fairer. It is hard to see how anyone could say otherwise. Simply saying "this is my first choice and this is my second choice" seems sensible to me. People often have a preference for 2nd choice, or perhaps more often a preference for who they definitely do not want to win, so will give the other candidates as a 2nd choice.
Of course, if we get AV, and you don't like it, you can always just mark the "1" candidate. You don't have to have a 2nd choice. You can chose to have your vote thrown away if it is not for the winner. If you don't like that idea, then you definitely want AV!
At least with AV there is a good chance that anyone who does win was actually voted for by more than 50% of the voters even if not as their 1st choice.
The other possibility is that you can have a proper choice of candidate. Right now you would never see more than one candidate for any of the parties as that would split the vote. With AV you can, and I hope we will see that. A lot of people vote for a party and not a candidate - wouldn't it be nice to pick the person as well - to decide which of the candidates for your chosen party you think can do a better job, and put the other candidate for the same party as 2nd choice?
Lets see how it goes. I wonder if I should put Yes:1 No:2 as my answer to the referendum ? :-)
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