The Mahurangi Magazine

Single transferable vote (STV)

An electoral system without preference voting is no electoral system at all

Healing unhealthy health-board ballots

The first requirement of a voting system is to reflect voters’ preferences. First-past-the-post does one thing and one thing only: it reveals voters’ first preferences. But in the real world of human interactions, second and subsequent…

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Make direct democracy smart democracy

Professor David Altman wrote the book on it. Academics know it as direct democracy; Australians, bless ’em, mostly as plebiscites; and mere citizens, as initiatives or referendums. Semantics aside, most democracies allow for direct democracy, to a greater or lesser... read more

Health boards and the triennial panning of STV

Every local-body election since its introduction, sees the same disinformation. The rock-solid single-transferable-vote system, first computerised in Aotearoa and used by her for 12 years, is set to endure its triennial onslaught of slings and arrows.... read more

First-past-the-post dictates one tick

The natural instinct of voters is to get their money’s worth. But thanks to obdurate royal commissioners, Auckland Council is stuck in the bad old days of first-past-the-post, and voters are about to be short-changed. This is manifestly evident in the crowded,... read more

Concurrent elections closest to voter-turnout silver bullet

Another local body election, and another uninformed swipe at STV. While it is probable that the at-large, single-transferable-vote, district health board elections are the single biggest reason only a third of Aucklanders returned their ballots, the explanations for... read more

MMP commission has perfect hearing

The primary motivation in producing the Mahurangi Magazine to champion the Mahurangi harbourscape. Just an hour’s bus ride away from the city centre—or it will be once the Mahurangi Coastal Trail is complete—the Mahurangi is many Aucklanders’ favourite bolthole, a... read more

Second past the post preferred

Another election and another clamour to scrap preferential voting. New Zealanders are wondering why Wellington, for example, would choose a system that makes ’em wait days to hear who they’ve elected mayor. And sifting through interminable lists of district health... read more

Prendergast loss somehow pinned on preferential

As mayoral majorities go, it’s one of the slimmest. Because the democratic world is so inured to the deficiencies of first-past-the-post, it mostly goes unnoticed that mayors are typically elected by a minority vote, often a tiny minority. Whereas Celia Wade-Brown won... read more

In smart democracy ties not needed

With the third excruciating reversal of fortunes, Wayne Walker is once again a Rodney District councillor. On election night Walker was provisionally ahead of running mate, runner up Colin MacGillivray, by four votes. However, the position changed the following... read more

Preferential voting following the right fork

First-time visitors often overshoot the turnoff into Ngārewa Drive. It is not because the road to the Mahurangi Regional Park, west, Ngārewa Drive, is poorly sign-posted. There are now three major elements to the signposting: A diagram of the intersection 100 metres... read more

Preferential voting better representation of results

Trolling through the results of the 2007 local body elections where single transferable voting was used, I was somewhat discouraged by the various representations of the data involved. Some results were simply listed as Elected and Not Elected. Others provided data on... read more

Plucked from obscurity

L e t t e r Stephen Todd, Wellington Goodness me, what a pleasant surprise. I thought I had already disappeared into history, not even making it to footnote status, and then you came along! Thank you so much for plucking me from obscurity and giving me a pat on the... read more

STV and the horrors of how

Updated 16 July 2011 Five friends meet up to see a movie. Screening is a romance, a horror, a comedy and an arthouse film. The friends hold a verbal ballot, agreeing to go with the highest-polling choice. Horror of horrors, the horror gets two votes, the rest one... read more

Preference preferable to dual-candidacy confusion

Safety in numbers. Unlike Wellington City and seven other local bodies, Rodney District Council and the rest of the herd have clung to first-past-the-post. The council, when rejecting preference voting prior to the 2004 election, denied the community the courtesy of... read more

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