Thursday, August 02, 2007

I Called It!

This just in from Elections Ontario:

"If Mixed Member Proportional is accepted during the Ontario referendum in October, there is a possibility that there will be two ballots in future elections. Legislation would have to be passed to make the new electoral system the law. Then the Chief Electoral Officer would design the form of the new ballot(s) to be used. "

Here's my comment on the subject a few weeks ago:

"This leads me to believe that Elections Ontario may prefer to have two ballots instead of the one proposed by the Assembly. I am not sure what implications that has but surely they proposed one ballot for a reason."

Just to point out how important the one ballot idea is to the Citizens' Assembly: they've called their handout "One ballot, Two votes."

Once again, it is absurd to have voters vote when their is no proposed legislation or implementation plan.

Side note: Please notice that the explanation of MMP is three times as long as the explanation of FPTP. This is not because people are familiar with FPTP. MMP is just three times as complicated.

Edit: Great catch by Andy over at I, Ectomorph. Apparently, not even Elections Ontario knows how the system works!


Scott Tribe said...

That's a farce Aaron. MMP is very simple. - you vote once for your local candidate and once for the party of your choice - the list candidates. All parties keep all the local candidates they've elected regardless of how many seats they've won, and the list candidates are used to add proportionality to the results if the parties won less seats then they are entitled to under what popular vote they won.

Really Aaron.. if you want to list objections.. do so.. but come up with something a tad better and less trivial.

Linuxluver said...

MMP requires more explanation because it is powerful. FPTP only gives you one vote for one person in one riding. MMP is that...PLUS...a party vote with province-wide scope tat always counts if your party beats the 3% threshold.

MMP takes longer to explain BECAUSE it is FPTP, PLUS.....more.

Andy said...

Scott, you'd have to explain that the "popular vote" you are referring to isn't the popular vote in the riding elections, but a second form of popular vote that is introduced into the system -- apparently to boost small parties even more -- by the second ballot (or second vote). So there will actually be two popular votes in each election -- the popular vote in the riding elections and the popular vote derived from the party vote. The first popular vote will continue to be ignored in distributing seats, while the second will be determinative of the election result.

I wonder how many people are going to understand that by voting day.

Raymond Lorenz said...


Not quite!

It looks like Elections Ontario is keeping its options open. The final decision belongs to the Chief Electoral Officer.

Since the first MMP election would be over 4 years away, there is always a possibility that there may be someone new at the head of Elections Ontario.

It simply looks as though Elections Ontario is claiming its lawful right to decide this issue on its own.

Andy said...

As I point out on my blog, they seem to have flubbed the basic explanation of how MMP apportions seats. Or am I missing something?

M Laplante said...

Their 3-page summary glosses over how the exact number of seats is calculated, you can only get approximations within a couple of seats.

I've spent a few hours trying to put MMP as described into an algorithm suitable for a spreadsheet. Once you go beyond the objectives of MMP to the practical details, it is very complex indeed, and I have not found enough information in the official documents to have a definitive algorithm. Besides having to guess when they give percentages like 3%, whether spoiled votes and other small parties are counted, and reading between the lines when they say "Hare formula" the biggest problem is with overhangs. Is an overhang an integer or not? So do you apply a Largest-Remainder method with a Hare quota twice? Once to determine whether there is in fact an overhang (the method sometimes legitimately hands out extra seats through its type of rounding) and if so how much? The second time using new quotas and distributing seats to the other parties "in proportion to their share of the party vote"? There are several ways that their share can be interpreted. I assume we throw out all the votes associated with the overhang party and re-calculate the distribution using the remaining large party votes and with fewer seats and a re-calculated Hare quota. We know that this second re-distribution may cause an Alabama Paradox, but are we mathematically sure that it won't cause a second overhang? How does this algorithm work in Bolivia?

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