Friday 8 April 2011

Twix gives two fingers to Mars

On last night's Question Time there was a discussion on AV voting. The example given was if you sent someone to buy you a Mars bar, but they didn't have any, then you'd rather they came back with a Twix, than nothing at all.

Is that right?

If you vote for Labour, but they don't win, you can console yourself that the Greens are in?

Swinson was using this Twix/Mars example that has become a sort of unofficial explanation for AV, but I think she phrased it badly.

I think its supposed to go 'Get me a Mars, or if no Mars a Twix, or a Double Decker or a packet of Cheesey Whatsits, or anything with a crispy shell but if they've only got nougat based chocs, forget it!

At the risk of unleashing the forces of the converted, pointing out my stupidity, is this really right? The preference that is listed is the preference that is accorded. No choices count twice? Its not 49% of people wanted Mars, there wasn't any, but when they added in the people who wanted a Twix first and Mars second , they decided to go to another confectioner and everyone got a Mars, even those that wanted a Twix?

Not being facetious. Just haven't paid much attention as I'm party bound to vote NO.
Of course if there was an advantage to BQMP in voting yes.....Well i'm fanatically loyal, not stupidly so..

It seemed to cause some confusion in the comments last night too..

Philipa said... Twix & Mars:
If I sent you to the shop and asked you to get a Mars but if they didn't have one asked you to get a Twix then that would be OK because I'd still have a chocolate bar.
ie. any MP is just as corrupt and a lying XXXXbag as any other - it doesn't matter who you vote for.

Lucien Modo said...29,653,638 people order their chocolate of choice. A Mars bar may be your first choice… but not others. However if after the trip down the shop nobody wanted a Mars bar as much as you did, then a another attempt is made at purchasing what might be everyone’s second choice, (you might have chosen a Twix). However once again nobody wanted a Twix, so this process continues until a chocolate bar is wanted by 50% of the people who now have very low blood sugar levels… upon which you get a finger of fudge.
Nick Drew said... OK. Under the terms of the Treaty of Unslicker 2011:
1) HMS Quango to sail up the Tagus and deliver 4 billion Mars Bars and a consignment of Wellington Boots


Anonymous said...

It strikes me as a bit of a bodge-job. As I understand it:

Your constituency voters get a paper that has candidates A, B, C, D, and E on it.

They mark who their first choice is. The votes are then counted. If no-one achieves 50%, then the one with the lowest score drops out (let's say it was "E").

The second choices of everyone who voted for E are now logged as votes for whoever they picked. The votes are re-totalled. If there's still no-one with 50% of this vote, the process repeats.

Continue until someone gets 50%+.


(wv: omelytes. Seems you can't make one with out breaking a few X's)

Modo said...

My fear is that I might not even get a sniff of even a 12% coco solids based confection... I might end up with a tin of BNP Frankfurters because they are everyone's last choice.

Caedmon's Cat said...

I'm suggesting to goodly Northumbrian electors that they vote for the single man or woman of their choice - and blow the rest..

Philipa said...

Ooh I'm famous :-)

Philipa said...

Caedmon's Cat - even Rachida Dati couldn't blow that many.. !

James Higham said...

If you vote for Labour, but they don't win, you can console yourself that the Greens are in?

That's a good point but AV always leads to two-party preferred anyway, so it doesn't arise.

andrew said...

This is a crap analogy.

Basically if you send someone to the shops, you may have sent a list of choices or maybe not.
You get nothing if there is nothing there you want.

When you vote, you are not making a buying decision, it is not personal, and you do not have control over the cost or what is purchased in your name.

You cannot not choose a government.

The same is true under AV or 1PTP

Nick Drew said...

Philipa - yes, Mme Dati does seem to have rather a one-track mind, n'est-ce pas ?

Bill Quango MP said...

Well thank you all for your .. erm interpretations. Not very enlightening, KYNON excepted.

I'm none the wiser.

What I want to know is this.

If I ask for a Twix under FPTP and more people want Mars, we all eat Mars.

If I want Twix under AV, and not 50% of other people want either Twix or Mars,then .. do the people who like bounty have the final say?
Because I don't like Bounty. I'd rather have nothing.

Budgie said...

If I want a Mars bar and you come back with a packet of cheesy whatnots, I'll slap you with a wet fish.

..... oh, and a wet fish too, please.

Timbo614 said...

As I understand it say 100 people vote.
They vote towards the culinary delight that will be eaten by every one.

45 vote for Mars Bars
30 vote for Twix
15 vote for Bounties
6 vote for Cheesy Wotsits
4 vote for Flying Saucers

No-one gets any confectionery yet!

Flying Saucers are crossed out as they are the lowest scoring and we look at their 2nd choice (4 voters):

2 (2nd) vote for Mars bars
1 (2nd) votes for Cheesy Wotsits
1 (2nd) Vote for Bounties

Total up again votes now stand at:

47 votes for Mars Bars
30 votes for Twix
16 votes for Bounties
7 votes for Cheesy Wotsits

Still no-one gets any confectionery!

Now Cheesy Wotsits are crossed out as they are the lowest scoring and we look at their 2nd choice (6 Voters):

4 (2nd) vote for Mars bars
1 (2nd) votes for Twix
1 (2nd) Vote for Flying Saucers
[We move to the 3rd choice as flying saucers are eliminated: Bounty]

Total up again votes now stand at:

51 votes for Mars Bars
31 votes for Twix
18 votes for Bounties

Mars Bars all round.

I think - I'm off to the local watering hole to discuss...May report back with modifications!

Bill Quango MP said...

Budgie. I don't want fish, i want chocolate.

Isn't that the same result we started with? The majority 45 wanted Mars. It just seems to have taken a lot longer for them to have come back from the shops.

{liked the Grand national Spain BTW.} Seems majority is on Spain 6-9 months. Of course under AV, that makes Belgium next.

Philipa said...

I love flying saucers :-(

Timbo614 said...

The result from the watering hole:
No one really knows there either.

The consensus was actually stick with what we have but with compulsory voting if you are only the electoral roll but NOT, in order of importance: On your way back from the pub, in the pub, on your way to the pub.

(We all ordered beer.)

Budgie said...

There is a serious point here that the yes2av miss with their cheesy Mars bar analogy.

If, as Timbo614 says:
45 vote for Mars Bars
30 vote for Twix
15 vote for Bounties
6 vote for Cheesy Wotsits
4 vote for Flying Saucers

Why don't they just buy what they want - 45 can buy a Mars bar, 30 will get a Twix, etc. Oops, we can't have free enterprise satisfying individual needs, now can we?

Well actually we should. And leave only the decisions that must be taken collectively for democracy. And it needn't be representative democracy either (good bye av), it could be direct democracy (good bye politicians).

Budgie said...

Got to add a question ..... are UKIP the Cheesy Wotsits or the Flying Saucers?

andrew said...

I think a better analogy is when you change gas/electric suppliers

You are promised that they will be cheaper / greener

You pick one

Actually the one you pick may well be owned by one of the other suppliers you did not choose

You will never know if it really was cheaper

Some suppliers have dodgy foreign connections :)

You cannot get a refund

You (99% of the population) have to have gas / electric

Philipa said...

I think Andrew makes a very good point. But whilst we have to have gas/electric we do not have to have so many politicians. Especially when most of the laws that go through parliament are from the EU.

My point was one of choice: is there any real choice? Three main parties seem to be a choice between bad and arguably worse and AV will increase the likelihood of hung parliaments. With a hung parliament the deals done after the election, that the electorate gets no say in, result in a coalition that has a perfect excuse to do whatever they like with no responsibility to the electorate whatsoever.

So under AV (correct me if I'm wrong please) those who voted for Mars bars and Twix had to club tog to get over 50% (eventually) and have now decided chocolate is too expensive and you will get nothing but you will be paying extra taxation to ship Cadburys chocolate to China, India and Portugal as those people really need cream eggs.

Budgie said...

Philipa .... sounds about right to me.

Anonymous said...

Well I would prefer STV.

But I don't get why people are so anti AV, sure there could be more hung parliaments which is a problem but our current system has politicians in power on a tiny portion of the vote anyway so that is hardly more democratic.

Doesn't AV work basically like the Olympics? (where deciding the new host city)
Representatives vote for a number of cities. When the round ends the least popular is eliminated and then everyone votes again in the next round for their favourite of the remaining cities.

Doesn't FIFA also work something like that?

Although AV is not my favourite system. Its surely better than FPTP.
Suppose you have 10 candidiates.
All get 10% of the vote, except for A who gets 9%, and J who gets 11%.
Does J have a right to represent based on 11%? I don't think so.
Quite often in a spread field like that the most 'popular' is the more radical who may be rejected by most of the people.

What happens in such a system is that the 'clever' people get together build a broad coalition, such as greens, 'liberals', communists. So that their group will always be bigger than the rest.
So everyone has to do the same thing, which results in a two party system both fighting over the center ground with no real choice for the public.

So what FPTP does is force voters into choosing one or the other of the two main choices otherwise their vote is 'wasted' on a no hoper which the system has been rigged against.
AV gives people the chance to make a positive vote for who they genuinely prefer.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Can we actually bugger up their system by means of everyone only puts a first choice?

I know they won't, but just wondering...

Certainly I find it hard enough to see even ONE choice on the ballot paper that I can vote for without holding my nose.

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether it will make a change in the way that the major parties campaign. At present, both the Cons and Lab have a core of settled voters, which they do nothing much to retain, while falling over themselves to grab chunks of the middle-ground.

Under AV, the normally committed Con voter might opt for UKIP and the Lab voter for, say, the BNP. This encourages the major parties to move policies to attract the second votes of the minorm parties....

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