6/20/10

Ranked Voting / Instant Run-Off Voting


(For Your Consideration*)


In ranked voting / instant run-off voting (1) the most widely supported candidate wins, regardless of party affiliation; (2) there's no vote splitting — and no votes are needlessly wasted; And, perhaps best of all (3), strong independent candidates can go for the win, without worrying about spoiling the results.**


How it Works*


Rather than being limited to just one potentially vote splitting selection, voters indicate their 1st, 2nd, (etc.) preferences on the ballot,

And the winner — who almost always has more than 50% constituent support — is arrived at by sorting and counting the ballots according to each voter's favourite choice, then dropping the least competitive candidates from the contest (one at a time) and transferring those ballots to those voter's next favourite pick;


i.e.*It simulates an exhaustive run-off election on a single ballot. 

(Hence the name, instant run-off.)




(From FairVote.org)




*
  • Unlike proportional representation, the autonomy of the individual MP isn't weakened by bureaucratic (back-room) party patronage.
  • Unlike first-past-the-post, it strongly favours straight-talking underdog pragmatists over narrow-minded, negative, wedge-issue bureaucrats.
  • Think Abraham Lincoln; not most 1860 Republicans' first choice — but overwhelmingly liked the most by the most, all things considered. (A middle of the road pragmatist, with broad enough appeal to hold the union together — through 4 years of catastrophic ideological war...)
  • ** re. strong independent candidates: This point probably shouldn't be underestimated when considering why so many elected representatives oppose the issue. i.e. It undermines the importance of Party affiliation, and encourages popular pragmatists to put them out of a job.
  • Contrary to popular belief, computerized voting is completely unnecessary.* (All you need is good old-fashioned grade 2 addition, a pencil, some paper, and a conference call between polls to tally each round's results.)
[ *Hand counting is simplified by sorting the ballots into individual favourite stacks — according to each voter's favourite pick (the first-round totals for each candidate); counting, double-checking and recording these totals — and the total required for a majority; and (from then on out), keeping the transferred and sorted ballot stacks (from each rounds newly eliminated candidate) separate from the larger, previous stacks. (Until the new, adjusted totals are double-checked.)
(You only sort, recount and double-check the eliminated candidate's ballots, and add those ballots to the previous totals.)]

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[ THE DOWNSIDE?? Better independent candidates and a weakened party system would, inevitably, lead to more fractious, minority governments... (Not necessarily a bad thing -- particularly when both the quality and the autonomy of individual m.p.s is broadly improved...)] 

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(Thanks for your interest,
and all the best.)