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Voting matters - To advance the understanding of preferential voting
Issue 25, September 2008
(Complete issue in PDF, 276Kb.)
There are three items in this issue:
Although this issue might appear to have less content than usual, the
Editor has a number of papers promised or being processed and hence it
may well be a shorter gap to Issue 26.
In two months time, the US will hold an election to appoint the most
powerful person in the world. Following the hanging-chad problems,
the Federal Government has passed legislation to regulate the software
in voting machines. These regulations fall far short of the most
rigorous software engineering standards, as applied for instance, in
Civil Avionics systems (see DO-178B).
We must therefore hope that the result is not close enough to call
into question the quality of such software-enabled systems.
(DO-178B - Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and
Equipment Certification is the mandated standard for software for the
civil avionics industry. It has five levels of compliance according
to the severity of the failure of the component in question. At the
highest level (A) it is probably the most demanding consensus
software engineering standard. A level of the standard could be applied
to any item of software.)
- Thomas Hare: A New Statistical Method
This is a reprint of his classic paper to match
the one in the previous issue by H R Droop. Both of these articles
raise issues about the voting for the House of Commons which have
still not been resolved!
It is hoped that making both of these articles more accessible will
enhance the understanding of STV.
- Pater Emerson: Review - The Persuadable Voter.
This item is a book review. The editor is now being
offered books to review on a regular basis and hence one review
per issue is likely to be the norm.
This review of a book by D Sunshine Hillygus and Todd G Shields has
a distinct US perspective but should be of interest to all at this time
with the November presidential election. Peter Emerson provides
some useful insights into both the book and the political
background which I hope will be of interest to all.
- Philip Kestelman: On Measuring Transferable Voting Proportionality
Philip Kestelman's paper is a significant technical
contribution to the tricky question of proportionality. This builds
upon his previous paper published in Voting matters in June
2005. The vexed question with STV elections of considering either
the first preferences or final count is overcome by listing both
in the tables of the analysis.
Readers are reminded that views expressed in Voting matters by
contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the McDougall Trust
or its trustees.
Papers with citations
- Thomas Hare: A New Statistical Method. (p1-12, PDF 132Kb)
- Peter Emerson: Review - The Persuadable Voter. (p13-17, PDF 88Kb)
- Philip Kestelman: Transferable Proportionality. (p18-25, PDF 144Kb)
[27, 27-36, PDF].