Tag Archives: utilitarian voting

Approval voting: a non-distorting, non-gamable measure of voters’ will

[Published 28 Feb 2016 at Independent Australia]

votersThe Coalition has been negotiating with the Greens to change the Senate voting system. Proposed changes reportedly would exclude most minor parties and some of the Greens, while benefiting mainly the Liberal Party.

It is claimed the Senate voting system results in an unrepresentative Senate, because the system has been gamed by minor parties to gather preferences and get one of them elected. There is some truth to the charge, in that quirks can determine which minor party is elected. On the other hand no minor party would be elected if the major parties were not so unpopular.

However the more fundamental problem is that no conventional preferential voting system can reliably reflect the voters’ will. Strangely enough, there is another voting system that would reliably reflect the voters’ will, and it is a widely used system. It’s just not used in politics. Would the Greens party please pay attention?

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