jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Sun Aug 29 11:03:58 PDT 2004
James Green-Armytage > Sent: Saturday, August 28, 2004 1:12 AM
> Yes, slates are a good idea in any STV method.
No, slates are NOT a good idea in any STV method. Slates, and all the party control implied by
"slates", run counter to all that STV stands for. STV-PR is a voter-centred, candidate-centred
voting system. Parties can participate and nominate candidates, as "slates" or otherwise as they
wish. But the whole essence of STV-PR is that the individual voter is free to mark his or her
personal preferences for any or all of the candidates in whatever order he or she wishes. Of
course, a voter can follow the "How to vote" suggestions of this party or that party, but anything
that builds "party voting" into the mechanism should be avoided. The facility for party voting in
the Australian Federal Senate STV-PR elections is a gross perversion of STV. It has reduced STV to
just another party list PR system.
The underlying issue here is the power of registered political parties within the democratic system.
Parties are essential to the political process - if they didn't exist, we would invent them. I
know there are some voting reformers (including some supporters of STV-PR) who hope that their
favoured voting system will "smash the parties", but I live in the real world. However, I do
believe that the balance of power and accountability as between the voters and the party machines is
presently tipped too far in favour of the parties. I want to see the election of committees,
councils, assemblies and legislatures that are properly representative of those who are prepared to
vote for the candidates who are prepared to stand. That means PR, but in seeking PR I am not
prepared to support any system that would entrench the power of the parties and give us
"representatives" who are more accountable to the party machines than they are to the voters.
STV-PR, uniquely, offers to shift that balance in favour of the voters. Nothing that facilitates or
encourages block "party voting" or block "slate voting" has any place in STV-PR.
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