"Everyone else uses FPTP" .. Not quite.
I looked at the No to AV leaflet, and I saw the picture showing Australia and Papua new guinea as the only countries using AV, with the rest of the world not using AV. I thought it was a little unfair: there are many different voting systems, and it implies that if you don't use AV, you use first past the post. On a recent popular comedy news panel show, a Tory MP stated as such.
So I went to the wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_voting_systems_by_country and picked out all of the countries which specified a single round public vote FPTP system for election of the main house of representitives, as we do here in the UK, excluding all which have proportional elements, those that have a primary system, systems that have quotas and modifications to a pure FPTP system, and those where a second house is elected by a non FPTP means.
and here is the resulting map:
It seems to be dominated by what used to be the British Empire...
The main comparable users seem to be Canada. So what do they think about it? In 2005, British Columbia held a referendum on electoral reform. 57.6% of people voted for reform. However, the terms of the referendum required a majority of 60%.
Let me know if you think I should add or remove any of the countries, and I'll make appropriate edits if required.
Voting systems can be complex and varied and it can sometimes be difficult to tie down exactly what category they fall into. There are many countries that use FPTP but don't use our version, just as many countries use multiple round voting systems, but not the same version that is proposed in the UK or that is used in Australia. Some countries use a voting system that is used nowhere else in the world, so an appeal to popularity is misleading, and to try and artificially construct an appeal to popularity by grouping FPTP, multiple round systems, and proportional representation in a non-AV lump is even more so.Edit:
Just to clarify that last paragraph: this is not an argument from popularity for or against any system, it's an argument that voting systems are so varied that any grouping of systems is likely to yield small groups, as it has for our system, and suggesting that AV is unpopular because most people don't use it is like saying that Stilton is an unpopular cheese because most cheese isn't Stilton.
The problem with first past the post
I've been trying to think of a simple graphic that demonstrates the problem with first past the post, and I reckon this helps clarify the issue, albeit using a rather porcine example (apologies to veggies!).