Re: Anonymous Voting Referendum

On 09/09/04 22:05, Alan Horkan wrote:

I cannot help thinking that it would be more useful to switch to a system
of proportional representation.  Anonymous voting may be a factor but I
think the first past the post system has a more significant impact on how
people vote.  Of course this could be done as well as anonymous voting,
but now is as good a time as any to mention it if we are talking about
improving the voting mechanism.
I assume that you don't actually mean proportional representation here, since we don't have "parties" on the ballot (unless you want to count companies as parties, but I don't think that accurately represents how Foundation board members act).

With proportional representation and independent candidates, it would mean that (as an example) if Dave Camp got 30% of the votes he'd get 30% of the seats, which I doubt he wants :) Maybe you are thinking of preferential voting?

Due to the quotas in place preventing more than a certain amount of people
from any one organisation the last election was effectively nothing more
than deciding which candidates from Ximian to eliminate.
Well, that was as much a problem with a lack of candidates as the limits on corporate representation. You won't get an accurate picture of who members want on the board when the number of candidates is 2 more than the number of seats, no matter what vote counting system is used.

I hope we have more candidates in the coming election.

In a proportional representation system it makes sense to clearly
indicate your preference for all (or almost all candidates).
It definitely sounds like you are talking about preferential voting now :)

In a first past the post system it doesn't make sense to vote for anyone
but the one or two people you most want to see elected because voting for
anyone else diminishes their chances of getting elected.  This has the
disadvantage of encouraging you to vote for your friends rather than
rating the merits of all candidates.
This is less of an issue with the past elections where each person puts in 11 votes compared to a system where each system where each person had 1 vote, but it is a valid concern.

Looking at the 2003 election results (, you can see that the winning candidate with the most votes (Owen) had 63 more votes than the winning candidate with the least votes. So some of those votes could have been allocated differently without Owen losing his seat. Given how close some of the other candidate's totals were, this could have given a different result.

Systems like "single transferable vote" ( get around this by giving each ballot the same power. If a particular candidate gets more votes than they need to get in, the ballots of people who voted for the candidate are redistributed to the next preference at a reduced strength (proportional to how far over the quota the candidate was).

Proportional representation is a little bit harder to count but I am the
system needs to automated anyway and it is the fairest possible democratic
If people think that it is a bit too close to the election to consider such a change, one thing that might be worth considering is to ask people to list all candidates on their ballots in order of preference. The top 11 candidates on the ballot could be taken and used for the current vote counting algorithm. But it would also provide information necessary to perform an STV vote count, which would be useful in deciding whether it is worth changing.

I hope you will all consider it carefully and seriously.
I've asked about this in the past, so I think it is worth considering.


Email: james jamesh id au

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]