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.

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