Posts filed under ‘Solutions’

Why doesn’t the EU want us to have AV?

Well I’m voting Yes to AV, after all I’m pretty sure I invented it on this blog at some point (it was just coincidence that someone else had invented before me!)

Latest post from Conservatives on AV: here

AV is unfair: With our current system, everyone gets one vote. But under AV, supporters of extreme parties like the BNP would be more likely to get their votes counted more times, meaning their votes are worth more than yours.
AV is unclear: Under AV, the candidate who finishes third can be declared the winner thanks to an unclear, complicated voting process. It’s like someone coming third in a running race winning the gold medal.
AV is unpopular: Just three countries in the world – Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Australia – use AV, compared to almost half the world’s electors who use our current system.
AV is expensive: Calculating the results is a long, complicated process, which could cost the taxpayer millions.

Here’s my response to that.

AV is unfair, FPTP is unfair, life is Unfair: With our current system, everyone gets one vote. With AV everyone gets one vote.
AV is clear: Under AV, the best candidate who could finish third under FPTP can be declared the winner thanks to an clear, uncomplicated voting process. It’s like winning a match but losing on aggregate.
AV is unpopular: Britain is unique and its parliament the envy of the world, we should choose the system that is right and make it popular around the world.
AV is expensive: Democracy is expensive but as AV and FPTP are similar in cost I don’t think it’s relevant here.

On any logical basis for either stats or science, a test which from the same source can produce a much more accurate and informative result without affecting the source too much, for such a small additional energy cost has got to be right.

The race analogy used by Cameron is either insulting or very telling that he views politics as a tribal, everyone for themselves type affair. Which goes against what he said when trying to get a coalition. I wonder why he’s making himself look stupid and untrustworthy like this – given I would expect it would make little difference his and the Conservative party being elected (AV might improve it I would guess) then I can only assume it has something to do with the EU who seem to be the basis of everything counter intuitive or silly. I’ve just not worked out why yet.

So since doing stupid analogies appears to be the fashion,  I have a fish analogy which I’ll stretch to fit….

Suppose you have 100 various tropical fish but only 1 tank and you want to know how to salt the water

25 Like sea salt.
19 Like rock salt
21 Like a salt mix
35 Like no salt at all.

Under FPTP you’d put in no salt and most of your fish die – not ideal.

OK.. So we’re told FPTP is simple,  maybe for counting but not on the voters (which is the wrong way round seeing as the counters know how the system works and voters may not)  so I’ll take this into consideration…

Perhaps if the fish were smart they could second guess their tankmates and so considering some could handle other salts the voting may go:

12% Sea, 18% Rock, 39% Mix, 31% none
So FPTP has appeared to work (assuming they understand the complex way they have to vote to stay alive) and most of your fish survive.

But you own a pet shop that has 600 tanks and you only want to get one type of salt, or make up one mix.

The majority of tanks have voted for a mix so this doesn’t tell you much.  You either have to just do what you want and risk upsetting a lot of fish if you get it wrong,  or take a guess from the data you do have.

So you’d make a mix using mostly rock salt as this came second of those that wanted some salt and even though you were trying to do the right thing, you haven’t as Sea salt is the 2nd most popular.

Next time round, Sea salters are apathetic and stay home, Rock salters are enthused by nearly beating Mix splitting the salty vote all over the place and making None win again, killing most of the fish and causing the banking crash.

So let’s apply AV:

First round would come close to being their preferences.

25 Sea, 19 Rock, 21 Mix and 35 None.

Rock gets kicked out and 2nd choice is mix, Sea next and goes for Mix and we end up with the Mix winning- Only this time we can see that we’d prefer a mostly Sea salt mix both improving the system and meaning that chances are it will give a well fitting result next time too

Now obviously this isn’t perfect. It could turn out many of the No Salt lot and all of the Sea lot wouldn’t mind Rock salt so that would be  a better answer but this would mean counting everyone’s second vote in the second round and then reapplying this to decide who should have gone out in the first round – this would further simplify the voters job, moving the complexity onto counting which is fine as long as it’s open and obviously fair.
This probably would require computing power and therefore electronic voting machines. Chances are even if we keep FPTP we’d get these at some point but this is irrelevant to this referendum as the AV on offer can be done simply by moving piles around and just redistributing the losing candidates votes.

Perhaps this whole idea of governments being voted in every 5 years is outdated and we should all be able to vote on the internet whenever we feel like it to create a fluidly dynamic system – Of course there will be people that say it will cause unstable government as people would vote them out every time they do something unpopular but necessary but that’s just like saying the printing press should be banned and all learning should take place in church on Sunday… The public as a whole isn’t as stupid as they make out and realise that some unpopular things are actually good for the country and everyone in the long run – If there was an actual general election tomorrow, I’m sure we’d probably end up with a pretty similar result to what we have now rather than some huge labour landslide the polls suggest.  So after some initial violent swings as the system is introduced it will settle down.
The voting site can include a blog for the government to defend against the sensationalist media story of the day.
Perhaps it would be advantageous to only change the Prime Minister on a yearly basis for now though.
It might take the fun out of all the election, but then would mean the parties wouldn’t have to spend loads of time and money every 5 years making stuff up about how they are different to the others or how wonderful they are when that’s about as truthful and useful as judging someone based on just their CV/Interview.
It’s right that we should get to vote bad governments out and wrong that a PM gets to choose when to have an election, so this resolves this issue in a much more democratic way than having to wait 5 years.

OK, I appear to have rambled far from the issue in hand – Time for tea.


April 18, 2011 at 16:58 1 comment

Economic Solution

The talk today seems to be about tax cuts.
One solution mentionned seems to directly give money back to people but the problem with this is that you don’t know if people will spend it or just save it.

Given the problem is with the banks then I wouldn’t have thought saving it would be a bad idea, but let’s assume that we want it spent… but then if they did all spend it at once it would probably do bad things with interest and prices etc.

Why not give every registered voter a pre-paid credit card with a time limited credit on it?
After 1 month the money would disappear, or if needs be, be topped up to a certain amount – spend it or lose it. The amount on the card could be kept low to ensure prices aren’t affected too much but then the process repeated a month later for no administrative cost

The cards could be given by visa/mastercard for nothing as they’d get extra business/customers and could perhaps put adverts in with them… or perhaps people could choose who they want to provide their card or if via paypal or somesuch.

Even most small businesses have a way of accepting cards, but perhaps as a condition of getting the contract to do this, help would have to be given for small businesses to sign up.

There are some people who are scared of cards and technology so this would encourage them to start to use it (whilst being educated the difference between credit and cards etc.)  – the account could be accessed on the internet to encorage people not to be scared of that too and perhaps carrying free/cheap advertising for local small businesses.

This would mean it’s a mostly private sector solution just organised by parliament and wouldn’t need all the red tape and accountacy that goes along with dealing with taxes – a tax change for many would mean having to pay their accountants more just to work out how much they are getting back.

That’s assuming that there is money to give and that it’s the right thing to do – rebates and cuts may not be what’s needed now, but as every party seems to be talking about them today I’ll assume they are.

November 10, 2008 at 18:56 3 comments

Solution for political parties

‘they’ should do this (as opposed to will do this)….
At the next general election, the conservatives should get over 60% of the seats, libdems 25%, labour 10% and others 5% between them.

This would put the conservatives in power and able to help fix the mess we have at the moment whilst giving some interesting opinions from the opposition – Libdems may not be co-ordinated enough to govern, but at least they aren’t evil and demented.
Obviously I would prefer labour to have none, but having a few will keep the socialists wrapped up and not infecting others from within their party.
Labour/leftwing/socialist views are much like organised religion in that everyone must think the same or they are against you – it’s all very binary. This is why they think the conservatives are always on the verge of imploding as it’s a collective group of free-thinkers who are able to absorb differing opinions without taking it personally. Unfortuantely Labour get to make the rules on how others are judged at the moment.

After a year or 2 in government, fixing browns f-ups, the conservatives should split into 2 (think ‘Station’ from “Bill and Ted’s bogus journey” – together to fix the emergency problem) and become their own official opposition down the only real divide in the party.
One side would be the free marketeers who want everyone equal and treat them as such who are liberal by default due to a will for a tiny government.
The other side would be the traditionalists that whilst they don’t want much economic controls on people, would like society to be prim and proper with no drinking after 11pm etc.

Each MP would get to chose their side and the largest would be the government.
Hopefully I’d say would be the free marketeers. I’m sure they’ll be anti-EUSSR so they’d gain some extra support from UKIPpers and also might gain a libdem or 2 who want to escape from the parties socialist residue before the guilt eats them.

If it comes to the election after that and neither have majority, they can form a coalition to remain in power.
Problem comes when a candidate from either side stands in the same seat as this could split the vote too much and leave the country open to socialism again, which can be appealing to the lazy, selfish and easily led who believe the lies.

So maybe it’s time for proportional representation –  I think the 1st past the post was good for a lesser mobile and less geo-centric population, but not anymore when people can easily have relationships and run businesses over 100 miles apart, but converse more than they ever did.

July 8, 2008 at 16:33 4 comments

Solution Number 1

Some problems we have in the UK:
Large amount of long term unemployed.
House prices too large due to lack of stock (or too many people)
Large influx from EU, mainly poland (not that they are bad, but affects infrastructure etc)
Aging Population that can’t fend for themselves

Build a new town…. in poland (or other EU country), with a special retirement zone.
Let me get this clear… I’m not suggesting we force all those on benefits or who can’t afford social care to another country, just giving them (or anyone else) the option.
In america there are towns purpose built and dedicated to the elderly – They’re great for those that go there as they can get specialist care in a place that’s designed for them (apologies for sounding like the elderly are a different species)
We don’t really have the space in this country for one, so why not build it in anoter EU country? -There’s plenty of room in Eastern Europe (although it’s a bit cold so might need to be in a centre parcs style bubble!)
A deal with the other countries governments to maybe allow people to work as if it were UK within a certain area (in return for something else) could mean that say a big company/companies (like tescos? BP?) could build and run the entire town which would create many jobs for anyone in this country or the country it was in.
It would ease the demand for cheap housing in this country and allow us to give people a respectable retirement without cramming them into undersized, over-smelly old people homes.
Sure there are many unemployed and elderly that want to stay in their homes … and that’s their right… but many would just as soon go somewhere nicer as long as there was somewhere to go!

This could work out costing less in the long run than paying for care and benefits that assume people want to stay where they are.

Of course there are more details in my head about how it would work and be run.. but there you have my basic idea, and a taste of things to come in this blog.. feel free to comment and develop the idea or to point out flaws!

Cheers, Norm.

May 12, 2008 at 13:33 2 comments


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