Tuesday, November 26, 2013

If we had ranked ballot, Liberals would’ve earned 3 of 4 by-elections

Last night, constituents of Brandon–Souris in Manitoba voted for change, but got stuck with the same old same old.

Fifty-five percent voted for a center-left candidate. But because we have a horse race instead of a democracy, a 44% minority overruled the 55% majority.

Imagine the freedom

Just image if we elected MPs the way we elect party leaders: with the ranked ballot. This is the version of voting reform Justin Trudeau proposes. Yesterday’s distorted election result would’ve merely been the outcome of the first round.

With ranked ballot voting the last-placed candidate is removed each round. People’s alternative votes are then distributed to other candidates. This process continues until one candidate wins with a majority.

Here’s a rough simuluation of how the election would’ve turned out under PV ranked ballot:

Ranked ballot: 1st round

Party Candidate Alt Votes Votes Vote %
CPC L Maguire 12,205 44.1%
Liberal R Dinsdale 11,814 42.7%
NDP C Szczepanski 2037 7.4%
Green D Neufeld 1354 4.9%

2nd round: instant runoff vote

Party Candidate Alt Votes Votes Vote %
Liberal R Dinsdale +542 12,356 44.6%
CPC L Maguire 12,205 44.1%
NDP C Szczepanski +812 2849 10.3%

3rd round: instant runoff vote

Party Candidate Alt Votes Votes Vote %
Liberal R Dinsdale +2846 15,202 54.9%
CPC L Maguire 12,205 44.1%


The ranked ballot doesn’t just benefit the Liberals. It would’ve allowed the NDP to form a minority government with Liberal support back in 2011.

It’s time Canadians upgraded to a democratic voting system like 91% of developed countries have done. There’s absolutely no reason why voters should get stuck with politicians and governments they don’t want and didn’t vote for.

1 comment:

  1. Your assuming that the conservative candidate would have picked up no more votes after the first round....there is no way to guarantee that is what would have happened. Great idea in theory, but there is no way to predict how the other rounds would have gone.


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