[EM] Let's fill the vacancy with the runner-up:

Donald Davison donald at mich.com
Tue Nov 11 09:55:15 PST 2003

Greetings list members,

To have the party of the vacant member choose a successor would be
acceptable for the Party List method of PR, because the voters have decided
how many seats each party is to receive and therefore it is only proper
that the now vacant seat belongs to the same party, but STV is a different
species of a PR election method.  In STV the voters have the choice to
cross party lines, that is, they may cast enough votes to elect a candidate
who happens to belong to political party `B', but these same voters are not
required to cast their next preferences for a candidate of the same party

No indeed, these voters may feel that no other candidate of party `B' is
good enough for them to support with any lower preferences.  This is the
right of the voters in a STV election and this right should be protected by
not handing over the selection of the voter's next preferences to some
political party.

If the voters wanted a candidate of the same party they would have selected
someone of the same party as the runner-up.  If we don't want to rework the
ballots from the original election then we should merely select the first
runner-up as the person to fill the vacancy.  Doing this is acceptable
because the first runner-up has more votes than any other unelected
candidate and would most likely win the seat if the ballots were reworked.

The runner-up may or may not be of the same party as the now vacant member,
regardless he is the only correct person to fill the vacancy because he was
elected to the runner-up position by the voters in a STV election.

And if this runner-up has been kept active as an alternative member, he
will be up to speed and qualified to fill the seat.

Regards, Donald

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