Anniversaries

Three important electoral reform anniversaries are coming up for us to celebrate and the first and third of them are specifically relevant to STV:

1. STV is the most party proportional system (10th anniversary)

One criticism of STV is that it is less proportional than some other PR systems. Of course, the critics mean “less party proportional” and we all know that, among STV’s other advantages,

is that it can provide proportionality, not only between parties, but also between any other groupings of importance to voters; i.e. personal representation. We also know that the degree of party proportionality depends less on which PR system (e.g. STV or AMS) is used than on how many representatives are elected together.

However, the UK’s Ministry of Justice (by no means biased towards STV or any other kind of PR) published a report on 24 January 2008. It stated that STV was more [party] proportional than any other voting system used in the UK. Please see http://www.stvact.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/government-review-nails-accusation-against-stv for more details.

2. Votes for women (100th anniversary)

You probably already know that the Representation of the People Act 1918 gave votes to women. The suffragettes succeeded. So can we. Indeed, we can do better; we can get them (and men) votes that are of value outside marginal constituencies.

3. 1st STV election (200th anniversary)

The first STV election was held on 18 December 1819 to elect the Committee of the Birmingham “Society of Literary and Scientific Improvement” using the rules devised by David Hill’s great-great-great-grandfather, Thomas Wright Hill. I promised David before his death to do my best to see that this anniversary was celebrated but, as my 80th birthday is in a few days’ time, I’m publicizing this significant date in the hope that others will be able to mark the occasion even if I can’t.

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