Saturday, 30 April 2011

Voting Reform 6: Do we need an active vote? #referendum

Further to my last post, the only odd scenario I can find is where a vast majority put the last-place candidate as second preference.

So no-one wanted them as their first choice, but actually everyone's happy with them as a second choice. But they can't be elected because they're eliminated first. Better everyone's second choice than half of the voters' first choice?

There is a system which would elect that candidate. It's called 'approval voting', and was recently chosen as the best voting system at a conference of psephologists.

Basically, voters just put an x next to as many candidates as they approve of - whoever receives the most approval votes wins.

It's a good system, but that's not really an active vote - it relegates the role of the voter somewhat.

I think it's probably better to have the candidate who has a combination of a strong base of supporters (first preference votes) plus a decent approval rate among non-supporters (second preference votes). That makes AV a middle ground between approval and FPTP.

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