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Voting matters - for the technical issues of STV

Issue 7, September 1996


This issue contains five articles within the tradition that has now been established. This concentrates upon the properties of various STV algorithms as seen from examples or computer simulation.

In the first paper, Hugh Warren illustrates a counter-intuitive case of the application of STV where two halves are not the same as one whole.

My own article provides the results of a computer simulation of 'large' STV elections which casts doubt on the use of the hand-counting rules in that case.

David Hill provides a simple comparison between the hand-counting rules and the computer method due to Meek. In a separate article, he shows how one can compute with Meek how one's vote has contributed (or otherwise) to the elected candidates.

In another paper by Hugh Warren, an example is provided in which equality of preference does not have a property that one might reasonably expect. David Hill responds to this in the final paper of this issue.

On reviewing this material, I conclude that I should appeal for a broader spectrum of papers. STV is not just a minority interest. I am a member of the John Muir Trust which aims to preserve wild places in Scotland. The trustees are elected annually by the membership by STV using the Meek algorithm. (Nothing to do with me.) I have been given an impressive list by Eric Syddique of organisations known to ERS that use STV (107 in total, but omitting the John Muir Trust). Can I appeal to readers to send details of other organisations so that I can publish the list in a subsequent issue of Voting matters?

Brian Wichmann

Papers with citations

  1. C H E Warren: On the lack of Convexity in STV
  2. B A Wichmann: Large elections by computer [8, 4], [8, 4-7].
  3. I D Hill: Meek style STV - a simple introduction [14, 2-4].
  4. I D Hill: How was my vote used? [13, 9-12].
  5. C H E Warren: STV and Equality of Preference [7, 7].
  6. I D Hill: Equality of preference - an alternative view

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