This post is part of a series on The Alternative Vote Referendum on May 5th.
Democracy is one person one vote!
That’s one of the “No” slogans. The implication is that, under AV, some voters have more than one vote, whilst others do not. This video is from the “No” campaign:
(That’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Nz1R8NZrJ0 for facebook pals)
It would, of course, be terribly unfair if some people were given more votes than the next, but this is not what happens.
What does happen is that some people’s second (or lower) preferences are taken into account and other people’s are not. This is because their first preferences are knocked out in the first round(s).
Is this a bad thing for the people whose second preferences are not taken into account? In short: No.
The NO2AV camp says that supporters of unpopular parties get more votes. What they actually get is more opportunities to change their vote. Their vote changes according to the preferences they put on the ballot. Because each change is from a higher preference to a lower preference, changing one’s vote is a compromise.
To put it another way:
Having your second preference counted is not an advantage over first preference voters – it’s a disadvantage!
No voter has an unfair advantage over any other voter — and supporters of unpopular parties are the worst off.
AV gives one person, one vote. AV is democratic.