PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA

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2015-10-15

 

 

 

Ranking Candidates after a Quota-preferential Proportional Representation Election

 

 

Occasions can arise when it becomes necessary, after a number of candidates have been elected in a quota-preferential PR election, for those elected candidates, for some other purpose, to be divided into two or more classes, or ranked in an order of their significance.

 

CLASSES: An example, in Australiaís Senate, is the determination by the Senate, in accordance with Section 13 of the Constitution, after an election that has followed the dissolution of the entire Senate, of which State senators will be long-term senators, with a full six-year term. At such a determination, the State senators that do not become long-term Senators, become short-term senators. See details here.

 

RANKING: An example of ranking would be where the elected candidates needed to be placed in a priority order for certain tasks or roles. Consider a group of 11 candidates that have been selected as a group by a PR election, and then need to be ranked in a priority order.

 

That order should not be determined by a first-past-the-post method, as that is unreliable and flawed as described at that hyperlink. Nor should the order be determined by the order in which the candidates were elected at the PR election, as that order is not of any particular significance.

 

Instead, a sequential preferential process should be used. That is very easy with a computer count, but is still relatively easy with a manual count. The method suggested for the above example should be adapted to suit the number of candidates involved, and is as follows:

  • The first of the eleven successful candidates should be determined by re-running the original quota-preferential (STV) election for all 11, but with candidates other than the 11 successful candidates deemed to be disqualified from being elected, and with only one person to be elected. The person thus elected becomes the No. 1 candidate.
  • The second step is to re-run the original election under the terms just specified, but with the person that has become the No. 1 candidate disqualified from being elected. The person thus elected becomes the No. 2 candidate. 
  • The third step is to re-run the original election under the terms just specified, but with the persons that have become the No. 1 and No. 2 candidates disqualified from being elected. The person thus elected becomes the No. 3 candidate.
  • The fourth step is to re-run the original election under the terms just specified, but with the persons that have become the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 candidates disqualified from being elected. The person thus elected becomes the No. 4 candidate.
  • Each of the remaining eight steps should follow in the pattern above, so that finally candidates Nos. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 have been elected.

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