Contact UsSearch
Click for Search Instructions
Home > Get Involved

Submission JEWELL-1643 (Online and linked documents)

Submission By Jeff Jewell
AddressNorth Vancouver, BC,
CategoryElectoral system change
Proposals for adapting the 'Vote 1-2-3' system to accommodate MMP and proportional representation [PR] [2 pages + 14 pages of linked documents]

Submission Content
I know that the entire Citizens’ Assembly team is dedicated to serving the citizens of BC.  My wife Diana and I are similarly committed to doing our best to assist in the public process of determining which voting system would provide the best form of democracy.

We have strong conviction that, when there are more than two candidates, the criterion of election by “order of merit” as embodied in the Borda count is the most legitimate basis of determining which candidate has the highest acceptability to the entire electorate.  “Vote123” (V123) is essentially a simplified implementation of the Borda count.  V123 would induce profound behavioural changes on the part of politicians, parties and voters.  This would eliminate most of the fundamental problems inherent in our existing system, specifically: strategic voting; vote splitting; negative campaigning; etc.

The issue of party-proportionality is of major concern to most advocates of voting reform as well as presently disadvantaged parties and their supporters.  My guess is that the general public is rather less concerned with party-proportionality than with other problems of our democratic dysfunction.  And the trade-off between party-proportionality and stronger governments is itself a subjective judgment that in our view should be left to the people to vote upon directly.

The fact is that substantive voting reform is quite possible (via V123 amongst others) without adopting party-proportionality with all its pros and cons.  Indeed, this might be the basis of the speculative ‘third option’ or ‘tweaking the existing system’ that was suggested at yesterday’s meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly.

Nonetheless, V123 is not only the best basis for electing members in single-seat constituencies, but it is also highly compatible with party-proportionality.  Indeed, V123 is arguably the most legitimate voting foundation for the implementation of party-proportionality.  Specifically, the truest reflection of overall public support for a party is the total vote it would receive under V123, rather than simply the number of people for whom it was their first-choice.  This distinction is in fact a significant point of principle—particularly from the perspective that the primary objective of a democratic electoral system is to best reflect the will of the people.

Given the deep interest in party-proportionality, our analysis has been updated to show how V123 can be extended to include proportionality, for which we provide two alternative models.  Our first model [see attachment V123+MMP(Conway)] uses the Conway method to elect as the additional ‘proportionality members’ those defeated candidates with the highest acceptability from the under-represented parties.  This is rather similar to the Huntley Zuckermann 1370 submission, except that it is founded upon V123 and uses a slightly more refined criterion for selection from the list of defeated candidates.  But the most notable quality of each is that they both avoid the pitfalls of party lists and result in all members being elected by the public.

But by far our most highly recommended alternative would be our second model [see attachment V123+PR(Kennedy)] which uses the Kennedy method to achieve precise PR—without the addition of any extra members.  Instead, the proportionality result is obtained in the legislature, by allocating weighted votes to each member in proportion to the party’s total vote.  The simplicity and perfection of this method are both exquisite and entirely justified.  Indeed, from this perspective, it becomes clear that the major problem of misrepresentation under the present and and most other voting systems is that the voting power of each member is in fact disproportionate to the level of public support.

The only reason that we are including the V123+MMP(Conway) alternative is that you indicated that the V123+PR(Kennedy) alternative is, or may be, beyond the terms of reference for the Citizens’ Assembly.  In our opinion, this limitation should not be accepted without challenge by the Citizens’ Assembly.

If PR is itself eligible for consideration as a possible electoral reform alternative, which is a fact that nobody would dispute, surely its simplest and most precise form should not be excluded!  Hopefully the right answer will be obtained to this fundamental question.  After all, it’s all about bringing into being the best form of democracy—to best serve the true will of the people.

See linked documents below

Related Links
DetailsAcrobat PDFJewell1643a - V123+MMP(Conway)
DetailsAcrobat PDFJewell1643b - V123+PR(Kennedy)
© 2003 Citizens' Assembly on Electoral ReformSite powered by levelCMSSite Map | Privacy Policy