Preferential Vote Counting - Results in Seconds
System RationaleLarge rural constituencies may not lend themselves to just one nomination meeting. Many people will not travel great distances to vote; therefore, any candidate who happens to reside in the community where the meeting is held may have a distinct advantage. A series of nomination meetings in several communities might be preferred because:
- No one candidate gets an advantage due to their residency in a particular community.
- More people have the opportunity to vote because they do not have to travel as far, thereby providing for more involvement and representation of the constituency as a whole.
- The preferential ballot is necessary in the case of multiple meetings in order to determine which candidate is supported by over 50% of the voters. If this method were not used then the candidate receiving the most votes would be declared the winner. It would be possible in a five candidate race for a candidate to win with 20% plus one vote.
- The preferential ballot also reduces the likelihood of collusion between candidates and reduces the number of votes that are cast on the basis of "hype" on the floor of the meeting. A more rational, unemotional, unbiased choice is possible under the preferential system because once the choice is made and the ballot cast all the "hype" in the world cannot change it. Voters must make more considered choices when able to cast only one ballot.
- In the case of single meetings the preferential transferable ballot is more efficient than holding separate votes as candidates are eliminated.
- The positive outcome of the preferential transferable ballot system is that people of all political affiliations do not feel disenfranchised of the election results. In most cases voters 2nd and 3rd preference votes will be incorporated in the final outcome. It also brings opposing sides together for example, if you have 2 strong candidates where 2 sides who have irreparable differences then in some cases the 3rd candidate will be a reasonable compromise that both sides can live with and provide time to repair these differences.
In some cases the preferential voting brings two sides together and will elect 1 of the strong candidates and the outcome will have self reconciling effect that satisfies the public. When the outcome is endorsed by the public and you ask them to choice incorporating their 2nd or 3rd preference it is usually enough to provide after election support for the election result.
One example of where Preferential Ballot Counting would have brought a beneficial outcome to a large amount of people can be found several years ago here in Canada when the people of Thunder Bay, Ontario voted on what they wanted their city to be called. There were several options on the ballot but people were divided in opinion primarily between three choices; "The Lakehead", "Lakehead", or the current name.
While in the end Thunder Bay won out it was only by a small majority and had they been given the opportunity to rate their options in order of preference, it is almost certain that the large amount of people divided between "The Lakehead" and "Lakehead" would have compromised and been satisfied with either one.
Thus, had Preferential Ballot Counting been in place, a greater number of people would have been satisfied with the result achieved.