Real Ballots - Letter One

New Democracy donald at
Thu Feb 20 05:14:24 PST 1997

Dear List members,

             A   S U G G E S T I O N   O F   A   S I M P L E

      P R O P O R T I O N A L   R E P R E S E N T I O N   M E T H O D

   This is Letter One dealing with some real ballots from a real election
   with real candidates and real voters that made real preference selections.

          515 ballots   19 candidates   9 seats   57 share(quota)

   The tally of the number one preferences is as follows:

   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S
  31  51   1   1   1   8  40  31  17   2  14  11  10  78  28  17  43   4  127

     The top ten candidates are: A B G H I N O P Q S
     I picked ten because the last two, 17 I and 17 P, are tied.

     After I worked the ballots using fractional Preference Voting, the
final ten candidates are - surprise - surprise - the same ten. Also the
last two are still candidates I and P (no longer tied).

     These very close results between the tally of the number one
preference and Preference Voting suggests that maybe a simple PR method
would be to give everyone a single vote - a shade of Limited Voting. Better
yet - the Candidate List method. These very good results of the number one
preference support the use of Candidate List as the best system to use
because in Candidate List the voters will be casting one vote for one
candidate and the candidate's list. If the results are going to be as good
as Preference Voting then the simple math of Candidate List makes it better
then Preference Voting. I posted info about Candidate List awhile ago - I
repeat copy at end of this letter.

     Candidate List or a shade of Limited Voting would have produced in
this election results as good as Preference Voting. At least we should
think about how these simpler methods will take us almost as far as we want
to go. True - this is only one election but I feel that the close results
should make us want to check this out with other real elections.

     Another observation: I was looking for sums of votes to collect
together according to people voting the same slates - but that does not
happen - very few votes had the same combination - the people must be
voting on their own - good for them.

Yours sincerely,

Donald Eric Davison of New Democracy at

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The Candidate List Method

     The List Methods when used in multi-seat election races are able to
deliver a high level of voter representation. A list is a series of
candidates in a set order. There are three main list methods: The Party
List - The Candidate List - The Voter List, also called Preference Voting,
which is the name I will be using because it has greater name recognition.
I have already covered party list and I reject it - Candidate List and
Preference Voting are at the top of the ladder.

     The Candidate list method also uses the entire election area as the
voting area and all candidates will run at-large. In this method each
candidate makes up his own list and order of other candidates with the
candidate himself being  first on the list. A candidate may appear on
several different lists. The candidate is free to pick any other candidates
for his list - even to go across party lines. These lists are made public
before the election. The voter knows all the lists beforehand and can act
accordingly. The voter can pick the list with the best combination. Your
vote goes to the candidate whose name is first on the list. Any excess
votes over the ten percent for a ten seat race will go to the other
candidates on the list. There are more details which are covered in the
page on Candidate List.
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