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Voting matters — To advance the understanding of preferential voting systems
Issue 27, September 2009
(Complete issue in PDF, 448KB.)
There are three items in this issue:
The paper by Joseph Durham and Peter Lindener Moderated Differential Pairwise Tallying considers a method of
electing candidates using a preferential ballot which is quite unlike STV. The paper details the rationale
behind the method, using Borda scores and Condorcet as starting points.
As with all such methods, it is difficult to convince people to use a new system, even given a
detailed analysis of its effects. How do voters react to knowing that later preferences can affect the
- In the second paper, David Hill considers the problem of filling a casual vacancy when
an election uses the Meek algorithm for STV.
- The last paper, by Philip Kestelman, presents a detailed analysis of the proportionality attained when using the Alternative
Vote. This is particularly relevant at the moment since the use of AV has been proposed for
the House of Commons.
New Zealand election rules
It has recently been noted that the formulation of the Meek rules given in the New Zealand regulations
is incorrect in significant ways. However, this is not as worrying as it might appear, since it is
thought that the actual computer software used to implement the rules actually implements the
Meek algorithm correctly.
This is the last issue of Voting matters which I will edit. An
announcement of the new editor is expected shortly.
Voting matters originally started by reproducing documents which were
hard to obtain, like Meek's description of his method. Subsequently, articles
were often papers presented to the Electoral Reform Society's Technical Committee.
After some initial difficulties, a strategy was developed which used one anonymous
referee for each submitted paper. The referee was almost always, but not exclusively,
an author of a Voting matters paper. I would like to thank all those who
acted as a referee, since they performed a vital role and it was essential for
me to trust their conclusions.
A review of Voting matters undertaken by the Trust resulted in a change
to the wording to ensure that the scope was preferential voting systems, not
just Single Transferable Vote.
Having a free journal published via the Internet has obvious advantages; there need
be no page limit and issues can appear when there is material, not just on a certain
date. Hence, although the dates of issues are somewhat erratic, we have never had
a significant backlog.
There are two people I need to thank by name: Paul Wilder for the website provision
and the reproduction of some copies, and David Hill who has carefully proof-read
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
Joseph W. Durham and Peter Lindener: Moderated Differential Pairwise Tallying: A Voter
Specified Hybrid of Ranking by Pairwise Comparisons
and Cardinal Utility Sums (p1-21, PDF 484KB)
I D Hill: Casual vacancies and the Meek method. (p22-26, PDF 76KB)
Philip Kestelman: Alternative Voting in Proportion. (p27-36, PDF 140KB)
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