Sunday, 24 April 2011


Norm, as so often, is very sound here.  He posits an electorate of two, where each of those two people knows which film they would like to see, but they are different films, so the electorate as a whole is undecided.  When any reasonable individual would know without hesitation whether they would rather see Black Swan or Made in Dagenham.  No contest in my view, having seen both, but that's just me.  An individual and not an electorate.  That is how electorates behave, and that, comrades, is why I am for AV.  But I strongly suppose the electorate will not be.  So Nick Clegg will have had his day in the sun.  Which has now turned to ashes in his mouth.  To mix metaphors somewhat grossly.


Jonny said...

I don't see the logic here at all. AV with a choice of two candidates is the same as FPTP.

Jane Griffiths said...

if there is a tie then the electorate is undecided. But individual voters are probably quite clear who they supported. So he view of the electorate is not the collected views of individual voters. It is something different. I have no difficulty ranking Made in Dagenham 1 and Black Swan 2, and it seems that the wish of the electorate is clearer if all voters do so.

Anonymous said...

I support First Past The Post and loathe Nick Clegg. If the result is a victory for FPTP, what's not to like?

Jonny said...

You're right - "the view of the electorate is not the collected views of individual voters". That's precisely what Arrow's paradox states, and what the whole field of the mathematics of social choice investigates, and why Norm shouldn't blog on maths, which he is, as he confesses, poor on.
Take a four candidate election, is it "fairer" if the second preferences of all the other candidates' voters are for him/her, yet s/he is eliminated in the first round?
The reason these sorts of arguments are happening, and could go on forever, is that Arrow's paradox shows that there can always be a way of arguing for or against the "fairness" of a counting system depending on how you define "fairness".
I have therefore eschewed these arguments, and based my view on future governance, present politics, and understandibility by the electorate. I am voting No on those criteria.

Jane Griffiths said...

Yes Jonny, but I wasn't arguing for "fairer" voting. Fairness is a red herring. I want to be able to express a preference and not to have (sometimes) to vote tactically. But the result will be No I believe and anyway am hoping to be voting in France next year onwards, for more than just the municipals and Euros. France
has FPTP, in two stages unless someone gets 50 per cent, which usually they dont. And then loads of people change their minds between the two elections. Sigh.