What No2AV campaigners don’t tell you about Usain Bolt

You may have heard the argument – AV lets someone who didn’t finish first on first preferences win an election and that’s like taking the Gold medal for Olympic sprinting away from Usain Bolt and giving it to someone who finished second or third.

But you know what the No 2 AV campaigners forget to tell you (or, let’s be charitable – have forgotten and didn’t remember to check)? Yup, take a look at the Olympics 200 metres. Round 1, heat 5. Who is that coming in second place? That’d be Usain Bolt.

Of course, he went to come on first in later rounds, but then that’s just how AV works. If you think who comes out on top first time round is all that matters, you should be out there demanding Usain Bolt hands over his gold medal. But I won’t be holding my breath…

2 responses to “What No2AV campaigners don’t tell you about Usain Bolt”

  1. When you put FPTP into racing terms, it’s more like declaring a winner after someone’s completed 30m of the 200m as they’ve done the most in percentage terms.

  2. You don’t even need the analogy of heats. The 100m, like AV (the 50%), has a fixed finish line, and the first person who reaches it wins. Just like Mr Bolt, it doesn’t matter whether he leads all the way or comes through from behind, provided he reaches the tape first.

    Under FPTP there is no finish line, and it’s completely random how many votes you might need to win. Indeed, under “first past the post” there is no “post”! It could therefore be said that AV is putting the “post” into FPTP

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