Written by IainB

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

image for Alternate Voting (AV) reveals a startling fact about British voters
Who do I pick? And then who?

With the Yes and No campaigns for the referendum on the Alternate Voting system now in full swing, it is becoming apparent that the average British punter doesn't understand not only AV but also TV (Traditional Voting).

"We've suspected it for a couple of years," said election mathematician, Leo Nidd. "We kept hearing people in all kinds of constituencies complaining that they hadn't voted for the prime-minister. Not one of them was a member of parliament eligible to vote in that particular election, and in most cases they weren't in Gordon Brown's, David Cameron's or Nick Clegg's constituencies, so of course they'd not voted for them."

Now the election system is to be made more complicated by allowing people to pick not one, but three candidates and rank them in order of preference.

On the one side, are the Yes campaign, who claim that more people will be satisfied with the result, because if their first choice candidate doesn't get in, there is a good chance their second choice will. In the world of Game Theory in maths, people are apparently happy with this outcome and feel they have affected the outcome (even when, statistically speaking, they haven't). In reality, most people don't have a second choice, never mind a third. It takes them all their time to decide in favour of one party.

On the other side, are the No campaign, who claim that the people won't understand the new system, the BNP will get into power, we'll have to pawn the Queen off to pay for it and there will be more spoiled papers. Research has shown that hardly any people fail to grasp AV opposed to TV, mainly because so few people grasp Traditional Voting. Suggesting that the BNP will get in means the No campaign believe everybody secretly harbour a desire to vote for the fascists. Which they don't. It will be more expensive than TV, but not by much, although they are one hundred percent right about the more spoiled ballot papers.

Early suggestions are that No campaign will win. Not because of their BNP scare tactics (are they saying that people shouldn't vote for the racist, Europe-hating party? That's not very democratic is it?), but because of their inability to comprehend what it is they are doing.

An average man in the street, Alex Usscar of Ebbsfleet, thought he knew what was going on. "I think I'm voting yes, or perhaps I'm voting No, or perhaps both ranked..." he said. "I'm seventy-two now, and it was only in the last election that I figured out what was going on. And then it was a hung parliament, and I was flummoxed again! This time I think I'll wait and see which way The Sun wants me to vote."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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