Voting during the Seanad Referendum in 2013
With May’s same-sex marriage referendum in mind.
Are we ready for some ‘bespoke’ democracy?
The De Borda Institute aims to “promote the use of inclusive voting procedures on all contentious questions of social choice”.
Peter Emerson of the institute writes: writes:
When is Ireland going to move beyond binary voting [admitting only one answer among two possibilities]? When Finland debated abolition, 85 years ago, they had three options; when New Zealand debated their electoral system 20 years ago, they had five; in 1982, Guam had a constitutional referendum with 6. In Ireland though, as in Britain, there’s little sign yet of any such sophistication. Hence the nonsense of the Seanad referendum: they voted keep it or abolish it, and they got to change it. Take Scotland: they voted independence or status quo, and they too got something that (many wanted but) nobody voted for – devo-max. So, any chance of some pluralism? The correct methodology, we would argue, is the Modified Borda Count, MBC, multi-option preference voting; where the winning option is that which gets the highest average preference… and an average, of course, involves every one who votes, not just a majority of ’em….