Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Mathematics of Senate Reform

Yesterday I participated in a conference call the government set up to explain the workings of the proposed Senate reform legislation.

Most of it was pretty basic: voters will have a chance to vote in a plebiscite; elections will be administered by Elections Canada; standard spending limits in place, etc.

But when it came time to explain how candidates would win I was completely stumped.

Apparently it’s not just going to be a “first past the post” system but instead it will be STV — Single Transferable Vote.

Now it has something to do with something called “quotients”, but that’s all I got out of it.

Seems to me the only people who will understand the voting system will be physicists.

Here's what a STV ballot will look like:



Crossposted on the National Citizens Coalition Blog.

2 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

Seems like a dumb idea when considering this was defeated in BC last year. Besides the voting system should be simple and easy to understand. A better solution would be IRV where if no candidate gets above 50%, the lowest candidate is dropped off and his or her second choices are re-allocated.

Dan Grice said...

57% of people in BC supported this. The government changed the referendum bar before the election.

Its the system used in Ireland, Australia, England, and soon in Scotland. A similar system called instant run off voting is used in half of the presidential elections in Europe. As well as a number of county districts in the states.

The quota is if multiple positions are open, if only 1 senator is up for election, the quotas is 50 +1.

Single (One vote per person), Transferable, (If your first choice doesn't get in it goes to your 2nd), Vote (the thing separating us from North Korea)