Voting system for elections

Ian Jackson ijackson at
Mon Jul 18 13:29:27 UTC 2016

I see we are still using Condorcet for the board elections.

As has been discussed here many times previously, Condorcet is a bad
system for multi-seat elections.  Rather than electing a board whose
composition reflects, proportionately, the views of the electorate,
the majoritarian or consensus candidates (as applicable) will sweep
the board.

I have previously proposed that we should drop Condorcet in favour of
the Single Transferrable Vote.

Last time we had this conversation we got bogged down in a pile of
voting system wonkery.

I still think we should drop Condorcet in favour of STV.  We should
drop it in favour of STV as defined by the UK Electoral Reform
Society, who have a clear description.  The UK ERS rules have broad
legitimacy and standing through their adoption by many organisations.
(We'd obviously want to ignore the bits of the ERS definition which
talk about the handling of paper ballots.)

We should avoid getting distracted by arguments that some subtle
variant may be better.  It is too late for this election but I think
it is imperative that we fix this for the next SPI board election.

This is especially true given that our variant of Condorcet is still
interpreting a ballot "1. Z  2. X" as not preferring Z or X to Y,
which is IMO an extremely serious deficiency in itself.

I therefore invite the Board candidates to say right now whether they
would support a change for the voting system to STV.


Ian Jackson <ijackson at>   These opinions are my own.

If I emailed you from an address or, that is
a private address which bypasses my fierce spamfilter.

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