[E-voting] Abstention - an accuracy issue?

Mark Dennehy Mark.Dennehy at cs.tcd.ie
Sun Mar 21 18:02:46 GMT 2004

Ref:[Aengus Lawlor, Sat, 20/03/04 @ 02:14 -0000]
> > "If the 'none of the above' option beat all candidates on
> > the ballot paper, there should be a political requirement
> >  for a new election in that constituency.
> This was obviously written by someone who doesn't understand how PR works -
> you only need 16% of the vote in a 5 seater constituency to be elected.

First off, it didn't say "if NOTA is elected", it said "if
NOTA beats all candidates". *Not* the same thing. As to the
low percentage levels of first preferences needed to be
elected, I'm not sure that that counts. If 40% vote NOTA and
the remaining 60% is split between nine or ten candidates,
then NOTA is the clear majority, unless one candidate got
41% - in which case it's a moot point at any rate.

Basicly, I think the low percentages are just an artifact of
the system and don't impact on the decision. 

However, if the idea of the largest group getting what
it wants in an election disturbs you, I'm sure you could
require a majority of the *electorate* to vote NOTA for NOTA
to win (i.e. 51% of the vote must be won by NOTA, versus
16% for a candidate in a 5-seat constituency). It's not
particularly fair to my mind, but it'd be an improvement on
the current situation.

Mark Dennehy,
Computer Vision and Robotics Research Group,
Computer Science Dept., Trinity College Dublin		
email:	Mark.Dennehy at cs.tcd.ie
www:	http://www.cs.tcd.ie/Mark.Dennehy

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