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Proportional Representation

Which voting system do you most prefer?

  • First-Past-The-Post (Current Voting System, Winner Take All)

    Votes: 3 13.0%
  • Mixed-Member Proportional (Larger Ridings with 1 Seat + Party List Seats)

    Votes: 4 17.4%
  • Single Transferable Vote (Larger Ridings with 3-7 Seats, Multiple Winner)

    Votes: 4 17.4%
  • Instant Runoff Vote (Same Ridings with 1 Seat, Ranked Ballot)

    Votes: 11 47.8%
  • Other (Specify)

    Votes: 1 4.3%

  • Total voters
    23
The "instant run off" system can and does work in situations where the candidates are similar such as in a riding nomination meeting, they are all members of the same party and their platforms are only marginally different. I have participated in such an election voting my first choice first and second choice second etc but could never do so in a scenario where the candidates are diametrically opposed. Think Ford Vs Smitherman Vs Pantalone.
 
Huh? How would Instant Runoff force that at all? It would allow you to choose whoever your want while giving you an opportunity to have a "backup" if you're concerned that your top choice isn't likely to get elected.

IRV only INCREASES options. I cannot understand how it could be interpreted to reduce options.

But that's only if the candidates stay the same.

There's some evidence that IRV helps extremist or ethnic parties get established and squeeze out the centrist parties. Then centrist voters DO have less choice. Actually that's probably true of any PR system. Think Israel.
 
The "instant run off" system can and does work in situations where the candidates are similar such as in a riding nomination meeting, they are all members of the same party and their platforms are only marginally different. I have participated in such an election voting my first choice first and second choice second etc but could never do so in a scenario where the candidates are diametrically opposed. Think Ford Vs Smitherman Vs Pantalone.

You should just vote for the one candidate you support in that event. I don't think anyone should be forced to vote for a candidate they don't support.

But that's only if the candidates stay the same.

There's some evidence that IRV helps extremist or ethnic parties get established and squeeze out the centrist parties. Then centrist voters DO have less choice. Actually that's probably true of any PR system. Think Israel.

IRV isn't a PR system. Voters in Israel, which uses party list PR, do not get to rank their choices.

One criticism that I've heard of IRV is that it's "biased" in favour of centrist parties. Since any winning candidate needs to receive at least 50% of the vote, it is hard for extremes to get elected.

And what do you mean "if the candidates stay the same"?
 
IRV isn't a PR system. Voters in Israel, which uses party list PR, do not get to rank their choices.

One criticism that I've heard of IRV is that it's "biased" in favour of centrist parties. Since any winning candidate needs to receive at least 50% of the vote, it is hard for extremes to get elected.

And what do you mean "if the candidates stay the same"?

1. IRV and any form of PR are similar in that they are not first-past-the-post. Second choices or second-place finishers do get something. And STV which is just IRV for multi-member districts is clearly a form of PR.

2. One way to explain what I meant is to think about the example of what happened when the extremist Reform party splintered from the centre-right PCs. Under FPTP, that put the right at a disadvantage, and we got 10 years of strong centrist (Liberal) majorities. The right did not win until they had suppressed the extremist splinter party.

If we had been using IRV, most PC voters would have put Reform second, and Reform voters would have put PC second. So they would have held a number of ridings that went Liberal under FPTP instead of splitting the vote. This would have made it easier for Reform to get established as a viable alternative party.

That's what I meant about "candidates [don't] stay the same" - extremist candidates are more viable under IRV, so they are more likely to splinter off from centrist parties and contest the election.
 
I know Australia uses the ranked ballot.

Federal level:

House of representatives is preferential ("instant run off")
Senate is preferential proportional representation.

they key is, whatever you choose, the two houses should have different systems so diversity ensues (it makes it more likely the government thats formed in the reps has a hostile senate it has to negotiate with - i.e its no rubber stamp).

i.e the Australian Senate is far more likely to get minor parties/independents than the house - proportional allows for more diversity as you need less of the vote to get a quote for a seat (Australian senate: 6 states x 12 senators per state, 2 mainland territories with 2 senators per territory - only half the senate is up for re-election at each federal election (senators have 6 year terms). With straight preferential the horse trading is in preference swaps/deals: general flow is the Greens preferences 80% flow to the ALP (and more or less the same the other way) - and they rarely can get enough of the primary vote to win themselves, you'll hear the ALP "winning a seat on greens preferences".

You'll hear alot about the 2 Party Preferred vote - which is basically the % of the vote the last two candidates get (preferential: win of the seat means that you have 50% Plus One (the absolute majority) of the vote in the electorate).

Senate ballot papers look cumbersome but you have a choice: vote "above the line" or "below the line" - voting above (which lists parties) you only number one box to make your vote valid, and you are in effect voting with the party's (who you selected) preferences for other parties. If you vote below the line, you must number each box for the ballot to be valid. House of reps are simple and generally have smaller amounts of candidates and you must number every box in preference order. All political party's hand out "how to vote" cards before you go into the polling booth (for reps and senate), which explicitly state their party's preference flows - you can ignore them or follow them (far more likely getting people to do their own preferences in Reps than Senate given the Senate ballot generally has 2-3x more candidates than reps). Liberal and National party (in an almost permanent coalition) mainly get their preferences from conservative / rural indies.

All states generally use the same type of system for their lower house (QLD only has one house), the ACT has a whacky/fucked-up/Eurotrash system that barely anyone understands (territories only have a lower house as in effect the Federal Senate is their upper house).

edit: The Wiki page explains the voting systems very well (in a lot of detail): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_system_of_Australia
 
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