UK perfect case for RCV. Join our call
Bits & Pieces
FairVote AZ advocating for Ranked Choice Voting
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You couldn’t miss the three-party race in UK , which will establish the prime minister. Since the lingo is not always the same, it might go past one’s notice that Ranked Choice Voting (by another name) is one of the major issues being discussed. Proportional Representation ‘PR’ has more than one type, and Ranked Voting for multi seats is one of the most popular. Some various reports are below on this issue.
U.K poll: 62% want PR
Voters tell Gordon Brown to quit as David Cameron races to secure deal
Excerpt near the end: As the Tories and Lib Dems try to thrash out a common position on electoral reform, the poll shows strong support for a shift to proportional representation. This is in spite of a worse than expected showing by the Lib Dems, who lost five seats. By nearly five to one, 62% to 13%, people said they favoured a more proportional system of voting.
One of the arguments for Britain ’s first-past-the- post system — that it delivers conclusive outcomes — was undermined by the hung parliament that resulted from last week’s election.
New York Times close to a call for PR in UK
Editorial, NY Times
They Call It a Hung Parliament
EXCERPT -- "Something is surely wrong with an electoral system that translates Labour’s 29 percent of the popular vote into more than 250 seats in Parliament and the Liberal Democrats 23 percent into more than 50 seats. Electoral reform is needed, and the Liberal Democrats will seek it as part of any coalition deal. Britain ’s first need is a government that can bring down the deficit without choking off economic growth or placing the heaviest burdens on those least able to bear them."
Unclear Result in Britain Puts Focus on Electoral Rules
By SARAH LYALL
http://www.nytimes. com/2010/ 05/08/world/ europe/08reform. html
Published: May 7, 2010, New York Times
LONDON — The British public’s failure to elect a clear winner in Thursday’s national election appeared to be a mass expression of exasperation with a discredited government and an uninspiring opposition. It also showed the voters’ disillusionment with the increasingly creaky electoral system itself. …………………….
Once-in-lifetime chance for Lib Dems to change system
The Irish Times - Saturday, May 8, 2010
ELECTORAL REFORM: The principal advantage of first-past-the- post voting is that it delivers majority government; except that it no longer does so in the UK , writes MARK HENNESSY
PROPORTIONAL representation was one of the main planks of the Liberal Democrats’ election campaign, but party leader Nick Clegg must now decide if something less will be enough to break the mould of British politics. …………………….
Labour, desperate for power, is already offering concessions, though not, so far, a cast-iron commitment to hold a referendum on the Lib Dems’ preferred form of proportional representation, the Irish Single Transferable Vote (STV) system. Instead, Labour is offering the partially proportional Alternative Vote (AV), or proportional Alternative Vote Plus (AV+). ,
Gordon Brown hinted that there might be a little more in the tank to offer when he said the British people would decide in a referendum what system they want, but Mr Brown’s track record on the issue would not inspire confidence in a Liberal Democrat.
Used in Australia , the Alternative Vote (AP) allows voters in single-seat constituencies to rank candidates in order of preference.
Lower ranking candidates are eliminated, their preferences transferred, and counting continues until one gets 50 per cent.
Under Alternative Vote Plus (AP+), voters cast two votes. The first is cast and counted , as in AP, in individual constituencies. With the second, however, they vote at national or regional level for a party, creating a list which allows parties to have their share of seats topped up to correspond with their overall share of the vote. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Don't get your hopes up for electoral reform within one parliament
Even if a change to the voting system is on the cards, the process of holding a referendum can take a long time
By Michael Bates on May 7, 2010 11:02 PM
It was fascinating to watch the results roll in. Polls closed at 10 pm in Britain and it wasn't until early the next morning before the result was mathematically certain, confirming the exit polls from the night before: No party would have a majority of the 650 seats in the House of Commons. The Conservatives won the most seats (306) and received the biggest share of the vote (36.1%), but it wasn't enough. The incumbent Labour Party dropped 6 points (to 29%) and a net 91 seats from the 2005 election (to 258). The Liberal Democrats won 23% of the vote, one percentage point better than last time, but finished first in only 57 seats, a net loss of 5.
Usually, one party wins a majority of seats. If the incumbent party doesn't win, the sitting prime minister and cabinet resign, the Queen invites the leader of the winning party to be prime minister and form a government, appointing other party leaders as cabinet ministers (usually those who served as "shadow" minister during the party's time in opposition). …………………………….
One of the arguments in favor of continuing the First Past the Post method of deciding elections -- most votes wins the seat, no matter how tiny the percentage of the total vote -- is that it turns even a slim plurality of the popular vote into a decisive majority of seats. That didn't work this time, with three very evenly balanced parties. Using the Alternative Vote (also known as Instant Runoff Voting) would likely have produced a decisive outcome. My sense is that there would have been fewer seats for Labour and more for the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, as supporters of both parties would have preferred the other to another term for Labour…………………….
Changes to the Voting System May Result From Election in Britain —Should America Consider It, Too?
http://www.md- writer.com/ blog/?p=1347
[American blogger -- showing a kind of "intelligent layman" reaction to UK '
Excerpts: [Brown] has offered the Liberal Democrats, a potential coalition partner, the possibility of reformation of the electoral system. ……………………
Why change the voting system? ……………. It’s obvious that the Liberal Democrats would want to change the electoral system to one that would more closely reflect their party’s true proportion of the popular vote. And that’s why both the leaders of Labour and the Conservatives are offering the prospect of voting reform to win over the Liberal Democrats to support their premierships. …………………………..
In my view, the US should take a cue from the UK and also consider alternative voting systems. Our nation, like Britain , seems to be experiencing a paralysis of politics. Americans are disgruntled by the inability of our national government to meet the grave social, economic, and environmental challenges we face. Commentators on British politics appear to feel similarly. Two parties have long dominated both our nations’ national governments.
Replacing our current electoral system, which is like Britain ’s first-past-the- post voting, might permit other political parties to gain footholds in Congress and even to elect a president. Politics could be come more fluid, and votes in Congress might less often follow rigid party lines. As occurs so often now, members of one party experience enormous pressure to vote with their party en bloc, so as to maintain a unified opposition to the other party. But if some members of Congress were elected from third and fourth parties, they might form temporary coalitions and shift more easily between parties, depending on the issue at hand. Politics in Congress might become less rigid, partisan and divisive and more solution-oriented.
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Friday night, May 21, 2010 6:30 pm
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Agenda will be sent out prior to meeting, but suggestions are welcome.
Dr. Barbara Klein
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works....President Obama