Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] More PG stuff (NMOC and actually OZ Politics by now)

Kate Parker Adams kate at dnki.net
Mon May 3 10:17:18 MDT 2004

It is called "preferential balloting" and I for one think it is preferable
to the more common system we have in the states because it allows for more
than one or two parties to field candidates and have a say in government,
particularly at the local level.  Cambridge MA uses this system, and various
malcontents in my city are pushing for it.  It is really the only sensible
thing to do in cities where most or all city councilors are elected "at

For example, the last local election I voted in had nine candidtates for
seven seats on the council and 11 candidates for nine school board seats.
You can vote for up to the number of slots available.  I voted for only one
in each because otherwise my "extra" votes would compete with each other.
When trying to elect an entire council, preferential voting would provide
more information on who should and should not be in ... e.g. better reflect
the will of the people. If this system were preferential, then certain
know-nothing jerks like Councilor Penta (aka Pentinane ... a baffling and
poisonous substance that is highly reactionary yet stymies the activity of
everything it comes in contact with!) would not get in and that would be an
improvement.  Sure, he'd get his first place votes from the Archie Bunkers
that currently keep him in his office, but would sink to the bottom in a sea
of lowest preferences and have to go begging for a real job as a delivery
boy for one of the burgeoning "foreigner" restaraunts he has systematically
persecuted at licensing hearings.

Just my $0.02 ...
-----Original Message-----
From: powderworks-bounces at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu
[mailto:powderworks-bounces at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu]On Behalf Of Peter
Scott Poitras
Sent: Monday, May 03, 2004 11:52 AM
To: powderworks at cs.colorado.edu
Subject: Re: [Powderworks] More PG stuff (NMOC and actually OZ Politics
by now)

I believe the method they use is similar to our caucuses used to determine
presidential candidates in some states, if that helps anyone...


> From: Randy Van Vliet <bigdaddyrv at yahoo.com>
> Date: 2004/05/03 Mon AM 11:28:01 EDT
> To: Jeff McLean <jeffm at jeack.com.au>,
>         Powderworks - Midnight Oil list <powderworks at cs.colorado.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Powderworks] More PG stuff (NMOC and actually OZ Politics by
> Just to make sure I'm understanding this correctly, in your 6 candidate
example, if there is no majority (as is likely with 6 candidates) it is the
candidate with the LEAST votes that get recounted first, in effect having
the least popular vote getter determine the result.  That seems odd, not to
mention subject to potential buying of second preference votes.
> On a separate but related subject I think that I have heard that the party
in power determines to some degree when to call elections?  Is that true,
and if so, is there any framework or is it completely discretionary?  Coming
from the US where we have fairly straightforward (if spectacularly flawed
and subject to abuse) election rules this seems really odd.
> Randy
> Jeff McLean <jeffm at jeack.com.au> wrote:
> in a nutshell, it works like this.
> in a seat, you have, say, 6 candidates.
> when you vote, to make the card valid, you must vote your preference for
> all candidates, numbering them 1 to 6. if you don't do this, your vote
> is invalid - it's a donkey vote.
> in the first ROUND of counting, all the ballot papers are "put in piles"
> based upon the voters #1 votes. the ballot papers of all the piles are
> added up. if someone has a majority of the vote (ie. over 50%, they are
> deemed to win the seat).
> if there is no clear winner, the counters "pick up" the ballots in the
> littlest pile and then redistribute those papers to the other piles
> based on the #2 preferences of that pile. the votes of the remaining 5
> piles are counted, and if one candidate has over 50%, counting stops and
> the winner is announced. things continue in this manner until we have a
> winner for the seat.
> that party which has the most seats in the country forms a government.
> here endeth the lesson!
> David Schultz wrote:
> >David,
> >
> >To my Canadian ears, that sounds like a bizarre
> >system.
> >If I'm reading into this correctly, you're saying that
> >there cannot be a winner, at least on a
> >riding/constituency level, based on a plurality of the
> >vote (ie. whoever simply has the most votes out of X
> >number of candidates -your traditional
> >first-past-the-post system), instead the winner needs
> >an outright majority, based on coalitions if need be.
> >Does a party decide where their vote will go before
> >the election (that's the way it sounded by your
> >description), or can they decide after?
> >
> >I'm also think I've read somewhere that in the Aussie
> >system a certain number of seats are based on the
> >results in ridings, while others are 'open' seats
> >based on overall nationwide or perhaps statewide share
> >of the vote (modified rep-by-pop).
> >
> >Sorry, I need details, I'm a political geek.
> >
> >Cheers,
> >Dave
> >
> >--- David wrote:
> >
> >
> >>G'day Beth,
> >>
> >>I'm not 100% full bottle, but I'll try and explain
> >>this before some
> >>political nerd throws in their 2 cents.
> >>
> >>Each political party states their "preference" as to
> >>where their voter's
> >>votes should be placed if they do not win the seat
> >>in the election.
> >>
> >>For example they say "If we do not have enough votes
> >>to win, then our
> >>preference is to have all the votes given to us,
> >>added to Peter's (the
> >>greens) total.
> >>
> >>(Because that's who "our" (labor) voters would
> >>prefer if we (labor)
> >>don't get elected).
> >>
> >>This is the same system and reason, the best man
> >>didn't win our last
> >>aussie election. Some sniveling little scumbag
> >>ferret of a man won with
> >>less votes than Big Kim did.
> >>
> >>It's a great system until the redneck minority buddy
> >>up with the fat
> >>cats to overthrow the blue collar masses.
> >>
> >>- let the flames and political nerding begin.
> >>
> >>
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> >>
> >>
> >>
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> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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