Archive for April 2012
The Single Transferable Vote system is something of a puzzle, so here’s a brief description of how it works, taken from a leaflet produced by the Electoral Reform Society:
1. The ballot paper lists the names of the candidates from each party. Voters vote by putting a ‘1’ next to the name of their favoured candidate, a ‘2’ next to the name of their next favoured candidate and so on. They stop allocating preferences when they cannot decide between the candidates – they do not need to vote for them all.
2. At the count, the number of votes which candidates need in order to be elected (the ‘quota’) is calculated by dividing the total number of valid ballot papers by the number of people to be elected plus one. For example, with 100 valid ballot papers and 3 places to be filled, the quota would be 25.
3. The ballot papers are sorted into piles according to the first preferences – the ‘1’s. If any candidate has more first preference votes than the quota, they are immediately elected.
4. The next stage is to transfer any surplus votes for these elected candidates, i.e. the difference between their vote and the quota needed to be elected. To avoid the problem of deciding which of the votes are surplus, all ballot papers are transferred but at a reduced value so that the total adds up to the number of surplus votes.
5. After all the surpluses have been transferred, we look to see whether all the places to be elected have been filled. If they have not, then the candidate with the fewest votes is excluded and his or her votes are transferred to the voters’ second preferences.
6.This process of transferring surpluses and excluding candidates continues until enough candidates have reached the quota to fill all the places to be elected.
You can download the full leaflet HERE, though it’s a little disconcerting because it’s a pdf of a folded leaflet, so the middle bit’s upside down!
Much more information is given in the “Detailed Description of an STV Count in accordance with the Rules in the Scottish Local Government Elections Order 2011″, which you can view by clicking HERE. It’s about as jolly a read as its snappy title suggests, but it does go through the process in full, and explains the method of transferring papers “at a reduced value” as mentioned in paragraph 4 above. Read it armed with a large pot of strong coffee or tea!
After working through it we feel much clearer, but are left with an unanswered question. What happens if none of the candidates has a sufficient quota of votes to be elected after all the “first preferences” have been counted? Any ideas?
For the benefit of those who were unable to attend Nova’s presentation on Saturday morning (7th April), we give below a summary of the main points that arose.
(In response to some questions already asked [see the last few comments on THIS THREAD on Seil Chat] some background information has been added at the beginning of the summary.)
The SNP press office has recently circulated a press release from one Miek acKenzie MSO.
Something to do with our local elections, we understand.
Who he/she?? What is an “MSO”??
If this person is supposedly representing us in some capacity – we need to know – we must be told.
Does anyone have any ideas? If so, answers on a postcard please to the Easdale People Newsroom.
There will be a meeting on Saturday 7th April at 1030am for 11 in the community hall, to discuss a proposal by Nova Innovation to take a venture forward to deploy a tidal turbine in Cuan Sound. This company is hoping to get the directors of Eilean Eisdeal on board to apply for grants to fund the project. So far what we know about Nova is that they have been involved with a similar project in the Shetland Isles which has taken 3 years and £168,000 and is still not in the water. I spoke with Simon Forrest from Nova last week and asked him what other projects his company was involved in at the moment, but he refused to give an answer. More of a worry is that Nova Innovation are listed on the Companies House website as a dormant company, i.e. not trading.
Some time ago Community Energy Scotland gave a presentation on Luing with regard to Nova’s ideas. It seems from what Nova are saying, they would like to speak to the 3 communities separately, why, we don’t know, yet!
We would like to suggest that as many full time residents as possible attend this meeting to get a fuller picture. We do hope that this is a consultation meeting and not a “this is what is going to happen” meeting.