Let's nail those lies!
- No-one gets more than one vote under AV: if a ballot paper is subtracted from one pile and added to another it is still only one ballot paper. To quote Dr Alan Renwick of the University of Reading, "AV would uphold the principle of 'one person, one vote'. Every voter would still be treated equally; each vote would count only once in deciding who is elected in each constituency.” And what's more by ensuring that no-one's vote need go to waste it actually goes one better: one person, one vote, one value.
- AV would not cost £250m to introduce: part of this sum is the cost of the referendum itself, incurred whether or not we get AV, part is an absurdly inflated figure for the cost of voter education, and by far the largest chunk is for some kind of voting or counting machines which no-one has proposed and no-one needs.
- AV would not make the election of extreme candidates more likely. On the contrary. Under FPTP an extreme candidate can slip through on a minority vote, just because the opposing vote is split; under AV the anti-extremist vote would cumulate and prevent any extremist victory.
- AV would not lead parties to chase after the second preferences of e.g. BNP supporters. On the contrary. At the moment parties may try to attract the votes of racists, but we don't know how far they succeed. Under AV parties would fight tooth and nail NOT to attract the second preferences of such voters: which party would want to see a great wodge of BNP votes transferred to their pile?
With FPTP many of us are faced with the choice: do we vote for the party we really support, even though we know they won't do well and our vote will just be wasted? or do we vote for some other candidate we like less but who is more likely to beat a party we dislike? AV means we can safely do both: show who we really support with our first preference, and then (if we wish) use later preferences to help defeat whoever we like least. For a straightforward account, see http://bit.ly/fgHxR0.
With FPTP the great majority of us are represented by MPs supported by a minority of voters, sometimes by a small minority (in Norwich South less than 30%, and that's not the record!). Under AV an MP has to be able to muster the support of at least half the voters (slightly less if not enough voters mark sufficient preferences: http://bit.ly/gIjamP). See http://bit.ly/eddJWZ
It's a vital question. No-one should make their mind up on the basis of half-truths, misunderstandings, misrepresentations and downright lies.