2019-11 The Commons & 'no' to compromise
Thursday, March 28, 2019


It got over 250 1st preferences, definitely.

It got over 100 2nd preferences, maybe.

and a few 3rd/4th preferences, perhaps…

but it got thrown out.

Binary voting is like a thermometer with only two readings, ‘hot’ and ‘cold’.  The warmth of the House towards this or that option cannot be measured by such a blunt instrument.

Binary voting is not fit for purpose.  It suits both those who like to control debates, and those who would say ‘no’ to everything but their own first preference, but it cannot be used to identify a consensus; indeed, with so many votes ‘for’ and so many ‘against’, it measures the very opposite – the scale of dissent.

With preference points voting, however – the original or Modified Borda Count, MBC, as it is now called – the degree of warmth with which the House regards every option can be measured with considerable accuracy.

“When there are more than two” options, a ranking system is “the best interpretation of majority rule,” (Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics, Iain McLean, 2003, p 139).

Article originally appeared on The de Borda Institute (http://www.deborda.org/).
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