"A big improvement and absolutely fair"

 

There will never be arithmetical perfection when 46 million voters elect 650 Members of Parliament from among thousands of candidates belonging to a host of political parties to represent local constituencies. At the end of the day, all that can be asked of a voting system is that it should be neutral, that all votes should have an equal value, that voters retain absolute control over their votes, that the result broadly reflects the wishes of the electorate, whether this is expressed in a party political context or not, and that as many of the electorate as possible are able to identify with a successful candidate whom they helped to elect and whom they consider to be their elected representative.

 

The Single Transferable Vote in Multi Member Constituencies is the only system which meets all the above requirements, and the reasons why it has earned the "Supervote" sobriquet are to be found in a press comment in the Sligo Champion, reporting on the first use of STV in Ireland in January 1919:

 

"The system has justified its adoption. We saw it work; we saw its simplicity; we saw its unerring honesty to the voter all through; we saw the result in the final count; and we join in the general expression of those who followed it with an intelligent interest - it is as easy as the old way; it is a big improvement and it is absolutely fair."

 

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© David Green