Single Transferable Vote (STV)
adapted by TeeERead©

• a voting system designed to minimize wasted votes* and provide proportional representation**  while ensuring that votes are explicitly for candidates rather than a political party.

• it achieves this by using multi-seat voter constituencies*** and by transferring votes that would otherwise be wasted.

• STV initially allocates an individual's vote to their most preferred candidate, and then subsequently transfers unneeded or unused votes after candidates are either elected or eliminated, according to the voter's stated preferences

* wasted vote - any vote which does not help to elect a candidate
Simply put - when a party gets 40% of vote, 60% of seats, 100% of power it =

100% bullshite

** proportional representation- aims for a closer match between the percentage of votes that groups of candidates obtain in elections and the percentage of seats they receive (this is the Key to STVing)

*** voter constituency - election district  e.g. Burnaby Centre; the BC-STV will reduce the 79 districts to 15-25 multi-seat districts

STV Example - Ice Cream Vote

As of 2007, STV is used for elections in
• the Republic of Ireland / Eire (since 1919)
• Northeren Ireland
• Malta
• certain regional and local elections in Australia
• local government elections in Scotland
• some local government elections in New Zealand
• Cambridge, Massachusetts

In 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota

A variation of STV known as the BC-STV came within three points of meeting the 60% threshold necessary for adoption in the 2005 referendum.
see Referendum results here

Two Other forms of elections
1. Plurality voting system

- a single winner takes all system, often used to elect members of a legislative assembly which is based on single-member constituencies.

• The most common system, used in Canada, India, the UK and the USA
• It is first past the post or winner-takes-all, in which a single winner is chosen in a given constituency by having the most votes.

Pro / Advantage

• Plurality may well be the simplest of all voting systems.
• It is likely easier to administer and generally costs less to run.

Con / Disadvantage

• Voters are pressured to vote for one of the two candidates they predict are most likely to win, even if their true preference is neither, because a vote for any other candidate will likely be wasted and have no impact on the final result. This is known as Duverger's Law (French sociologist who observed the effect). Generally favours a two party system such as Canada's Liberals / Conservatives, and the US Democratic / Republican parties. It is thus also to day generally considered farther removed from true democracy and voters who see the merits of NDP/ Green/ other parties.
Taisha Read - December 2007
Reference Credits to Wikipedia