Say what you will about dunking women to see whether they were witches, but it was decisive, simple, and gave a clear result. True, it tended to throw up ridiculous results, in that the woman either drowned or if she didn’t drown then she was obviously a witch and got torched. So it wasn’t perfect. But you knew where you stood!
The defenders of FPTP seem to take a similar apporach to defending the age old method of electing Members of Parliament. FPTP does not elect a parliament that reflects modern Britain. It has not since the 1930s elected a single party government that won the support of a majority of the British people, although, to be fair, from the 1940s to the 1960s it came close. But today, it is most likely to elect a single party prime minister whom most Brits went into polls and didn’t choose.
But that, the No-to-AV crowd say, is a minor issue. The fact is, FPTP is simple to understand and gives a clear result most of the time, which is true. As indeed does picking a name from a hat. Or throwing a dart at a dartboard. In fact, if you put names in a hat in direct proportion to the votes people got, picking the name from the hat would in all probability be fairer than FPTP.
So, if the No-to-AV crowd won’t sign up to AV, how about Name Out Of Hat? NOOH gives a clear result, is simple to understand, does not require voters to be able to count (A big issue for the No crowd. The Tories really do themselves an injustice in their lack of faith in their years in government, assuming that most British people now cannot actually count to ten. God love them. Maggie wasn’t that bad!) and gives a clear result on the night of the election. And we could get celebrities to pull the name of the winner, boosting turnout! What’s not to like?