Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Proportional Ranked Choice Voting Made Easy

I'm green with envy at the Irish voting system.

The “Proportional Ranked Choice Voting” electoral system is sometimes called “Single Transferable Vote.” The feature that makes this type of ranked choice voting into “proportional voting” is the fact that each riding ends up with a “multi-member” team of winners instead of a “single-member” winner-take-all.

Creating these “multi-member” ridings in Canada would simply mean the old single-member ridings would be combined and the enlarged riding would elect a small team of MPs. Learn more at this Fair Vote Canada link.  

Below is a transcript of a Fair Vote Canada video that describes this electoral system in only about one minute! Watch it at this link..as you follow the below transcript:

"In this simplified version, there are three seats available and five candidates running for election.

The quota is three thousand: This is how many votes each candidate will need to win.

After counting the first preferences marked in the ballots, Lauren has enough votes to be elected.

In fact she has more votes than she needs: She has a surplus.

This surplus is then transferred to the candidates ranked as “second favoured” on her ballots.

Now Fergus has enough votes to win the second seat.

So if any of his voters marked a three next to a candidate’s name, they get these extra votes.
But look: none of the candidates have enough votes to win the next seat.
So the least popular candidate with the fewest votes, Ella, is eliminated.

Her ballots are redistributed to the remaining two candidates based on the voter’s preferences.

Now Sean has enough votes to be elected to the next seat."


Remember there are six seats to fill per constituency in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

The benefit of the STV method is that the majority of voters will have at least one of their choices get elected. So with STV each vote really is powerful and can make a big difference.

Learn more at this Fair Vote Canada link.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Table of Contents & Links

Charter Challenge for Fair Voting

Fair Vote Canada

A Shared Commitment to Fairness: Fair Vote Canada and Charter Challenge for Fair Voting  

Part 2 of: A Shared Commitment to Fairness: Fair Vote Canada and the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting 

Make Votes Equal Website

Make Votes Equal on Facebook

Make Votes Equal on Twitter 

Make Votes Equal Mission Statement 

Best Posts:

Exploring Strengths in The Charter Challenge for Fair Voting and the Affidavit of Antony Hodgson 

How the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting case differs from the 2012 Gibb vs Quebec case

Should the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting be worried about the Supreme Court 2014 ruling on Senate Reform? 

Timeline scenarios for Charter Challenge 

Canada’s Charter Challenge for Fair Voting and the Urgent Climate Clock

Wasted Votes – an informal, but important, phrase 

Translating and Assessing Christopher Kam’s blog post on The Representation-Accountability Trade-Off in Electoral Systems

Critiquing Christopher Kam’s critique of Proportional Representation regarding False Majorities

Mission Statement of Make Votes Equal

We aim to “Make Votes Equal” in their effect on election results in Canada and its provinces.

About the “aim”: Even though it’s technically impossible for any electoral system to makes all votes precisely mathematically equal, the phrase “Make Votes Equal” still expresses a desire, a direction, an ideal to aim towards, a moral value, a governing guide and governing principle which ought to be used when developing an electoral system. (See footnote 1)

A similar governing guide, “equal treatment,” is expressed in Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Equal treatment” is also mentioned by both the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting and Fair Vote Canada: The Charter Challenge for Fair Voting is based, in part, on Section 15, the right to “equal treatment.” (See link) Also, the first sentence of the Fair Vote Canada Statement of Purpose, also speaks of “the right of each citizen to equal treatment under election laws and equal representation in legislatures.” (footnote 2) 

As an independent group, Make Votes Equal endorses both those organizations.

In late Jan 2023, a group of people interested in the above mission participated in a poll to name this independent group, “Make Votes Equal.”

Footnote 1:  Here's a more nuanced expression of "voter equality": In the [1991] Saskatchewan Electoral Boundaries Reference [on the sizes of riding populations], the Supreme Court of Canada concluded (at p 183) that the first condition of effective representation is “relative parity of voting power.” (See Section 3 of the Charter of Rights at this link.)

Footnote 2: At the Fair Vote Canada site, hover over “About Us” and choose “Statement of Purpose” (PDF)