Final proposed Board resolution for Board elections voting system

Ian Jackson ijackson at
Wed Mar 8 11:43:29 UTC 2017


We discussed voting systems extensively on spi-private and spi-general
in July and August 2017.

Recently, the Board asked me to

  draft a resolution to replace the existing Condrocet-based voting
  algorithm with a more appropriate algorithm, taking into account any
  existing feedback from spi-general, in time for the March meeting

We have had a renewed discussion here on spi-general.)

Since my previous draft resolution, there have been no comments that
lead me to want to make any changes.  I've had positive feedback from
the Secretary.  I think the Board should vote on the resolution below.
(This is identical to the previous one but with the paragraph
numbering bug fixed.)

NB that I will be offline on the 10th and 11th of March, and will have
only limited network access between then and the Board meeting.  So if
there are any more comments, please make them ASAP.



1. SPI should elect its Board using a roughly-proportional voting
   system.  Condorcet is good for single-winner elections but is
   seriously lacking in proportionality in multi-winner elections such
   as SPI's Board Elections.

2. SPI is not equipped to effectively design or analyse voting
   systems.  We wish to adopt a system widely used elsewhere, and
   which is recommended by civil society organisations specialising in
   voting reform.

3. The Single Transferrable Vote is the only proportional voting
   system, suitable for SPI, which meets these criteria.

4. The Scottish STV variant is clearly specified; we have an
   established and stable Free Software implementation of it; and it
   is straightforward to (re)implement.  Other STV variants appear to
   lack some of these good properties.

5. Ian Jackson has offered to help with the implementation of STV for


6. Future elections to the SPI Board will be counted according to the
   Scottish Single Transferrable Vote.  Scottish STV will also be used
   by SPI for any other multi-winner election.

7. Specifically, the algorithm to be used is that specified in
   Rules 45-52 of the Scottish Local Government Elections Order
   2007 (a UK Statutory Instrument):

8. The practical implementation will be by means of software; for
   example, perhaps the openstv package in Debian.  The choice of
   software is up to the Secretary.  However, any differences between
   the Rules in the Order, and whatever software implementation is
   chosen, are to be resolved in favour of the Rules.

9. The SPI Secretary is requested to liase with Ian Jackson, so that
   the necessary changes to SPI software and infrastructure can be
   identified and implemented.

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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