Misunderstanding AV

I have no particular view about the AV referendum. I haven’t decided which way to vote yet, but it’s not ambivalence as much as non-valence. I don’t feel strongly either way.

But weirdly, I still want to explore the arguments anyway, especially as public debate on both sides has been pretty poor.

One reason for this may be that lots of the people leading the debate don’t actually know what they’re talking about.

A confession: I have probably voted in over a hundred AV elections; I have run in AV elections, been a campaign manager for AV elections, and counted the votes in AV elections.

But I’ve also voted and run and organised several dozen Single Transferable Vote elections. I’ve even counted some small ones.

STV is not AV (though strictly speaking AV is a special case of STV). STV elections are ‘block elections’, where there’s more than one position being elected at the same time. (more…)

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