Hello Cruel World
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Science Fiction Audiobooks, Fantasy Audiobooks, and Audio Drama

Hey. Just listening to someone talking about situation in California with new "recall" election. We thought we had troubles with the 'tablecloth' ballot paper for the New South Wales Upper House. There are apparently about 130 candidates for the Governorship of California.
In Australia we have preferential voting, where you number from 1 to however many (more explanation in another post if I get to it). If no single candidate gets a majority of "first preference" votes, the lowest candidate gets knocked out of the running and their votes are distributed according to what their second preference is.
Example: if there are two Big-Endian & one Little-Endian candidates, and the vote splits, say,
B1 - 25%,
B2 - 35%,
L1 - 40%;
A first-past-the-post system would give the election to the 40%, even though the majority of the voters voted against him or her.
The Australian preferential system would distribute the votes of L1 - probably most would prefer the other left candidate to the right one, say 80/20. On redistribution, the remaining two would have:
B2 - 55%
L1 - 45%
So in general - there are all sorts of examples that might do funny things - this means the preferences of the electors are more fairly represented.
I've heard European elections where they do a similar sort of thing by having two rounds of voting. The two who get the most votes in the first round go on to a mano-a-mano contest.
With 250 candidates, even tho' many of them will have miniscule votes, the split vote could go in all sorts of ways.
Sounds like their electoral office will be having fun organising it too. Especially after the practical problems in the last Presidential election.
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 / . Lives in Australia/New South Wales/Sydney, speaks English. Eye color is hazel. I am what my mother calls unique. My interests are photography, reading, natural history/land use, town planning, sustainability.

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Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.