STV-MMP A new electoral system
I lived under the STV system in Ireland for 36 years and I find it to be a good system.
Actually, I think it is a great electoral system. It is entrenched in Ireland and the system is very slowly spreading to other countries. BUT political parties don't like it and this slows down the spread of the system. Inferior systems like MMP have more success with the political establishment because they give political party leadership (at the expense of individual voters and of party candidates) more power.
So rather than have the world taken over by an inferior system, I think STV should be married to MMP.
My system is probably quite different than normal MMP in the way that it is counted and perhaps it corrects a few little problems in the STV system too.
The problem that it corrects is a wasted votes problem.
In STV in the irish multi seat constituency's, some votes end up wasted, they don't elect anybody. It would be very useful if you go to the website that I link to below to illustrate the point.
http://election.polarbears.com/online/da2002.htm gives a constituency by constituency account of the election,
The first constituency it shows is carlow kilkenny which elects 4 people to parliament. If you click on next count, it shows the redistribution of votes as surpluses are distributed and the devil takes the hindmost. Click again and another candidate gets redistributed until you end up with 5 people. Jim Townsend and the 10615 votes that ended up with him get eliminated!
As you can see from the coloured bar chart, most of those votes were labour party and green party votes. In that constituency, labour and green party voters did badly.
The HOPE in STV is that these wasted votes being average out between the parties in the about 40 constituency's in the country. My system doesn't leave it to random chance. Why not count all the wasted votes in the country? If 20% of the votes fall into that category, give 20% of the seats from them. And award them to the party of the FIRST party affiliated candidate expressed on each ballot paper? And then give the party's their additional seats in proportion to their share of the wasted votes.
(Such a system would also include exhausted ballots that didn't transfer as wasted votes).
For instance, at the linked site, someone who voted 1 Tom Kiernan (sinn fein) and didn't put a second or 3rd choice would have wasted their vote under classic STV but in STV-MMP their vote goes into the sinn fein MMP pile and helps elect a sinn fein candidate from their party list.
I believe such a system has a good chance of correcting some little failings in STV.
Small party voters traditionally struggle to elect people in the constituency's. If they just put 1, 2 their party candidates, their party is sure to get the use of their vote!
And there is no point to the large parties trying to reduce the district magnitude to eliminate the small parties. (a traditional STV strategy for them).
Such a system could continue to be hand counted to maintain the openness of the vote counting process which is so crucial to democracy. In STV-MMP, everyone has one vote and every vote counts equally, every vote elects someone, and that is fair and democratic
What do you think?