Preferential Counting in NZ Electorate Seats

preferential counting

I remain stunned that the body charged with suggesting improvements to NZ MMP has not suggested Preferential Counting of Electorate Seats.

A simple short term solution to the rorts (until we get proportional representation in Electorate Seats) is to count Electorate seat votes under a Preferential Counting system.

So please sign my petition.

The voting would stay the same. The ballot paper would stay the same. But the counting system would be preferential and most people wouldn’t even know that a huge leap for NZ democracy had occurred.

It would work like this: candidates would lodge their preferences with the Electoral Commission. For example. Candidate A would lodge their preferences with the Commission saying “if I don’t get elected then my votes should be counted towards  Candidate D, B and C etc, in that order.”

There are variations on the theme of course. Voters could number their own preferences, but that would not be as simple. Personally if I give my vote to my favourite candidate then I would trust them to distribute the vote, if they don’t get elected, in a manner I’d be happy with.

Here is an example from Australia of how a preferential count works. It’s also called Instant-runoff voting (IRV), alternative vote (AV), transferable vote, and ranked-choice voting. In NZ we could call it “end the stupid rorting charade voting”.

Simple, eh?

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