Exploring the Counting of Ballot Papers Using “Delegated Transferable Vote”: Implications for Local and National Elections in the United Kingdom

Exploring the Counting of Ballot Papers Using “Delegated Transferable Vote”: Implications for Local and National Elections in the United Kingdom

Jonathan Bishop (Centre for Research into Online Communities and E-Learning Systems, UK) and Mark Beech (Centre for Research into Online Communities and E-Learning Systems, UK)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1862-4.ch014
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Abstract

Delegated transferable voting (DTV) refers to an approach to counting votes in elections that extends non-preferential voting systems like First Past The Post (FPTP) to include a transferable element similar to Single Transferable Voting (STV) but instead of voters indicating who they wish their votes to go to on an individual level they entrust that decision in the candidate they vote for, who could be from a small political party that might otherwise be deemed a “wasted vote” under first-past-the-post systems where the candidate they least want could win by having the most votes but still have less than 50% of the popular vote. This chapter discusses how DTV might work in practice through an auto-ethnographic approach in which the authors play an active part in elections in order to test the approach. The elections contested in the UK included to local council level in the Pontypridd area and national elections to the UK Parliament and Welsh Assembly. The potential impact of DTV on these election and method of campaigning used at some of these elections might have had on the voting outcome are discussed.
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Background

Government fragmentation, which allows for pluralistic representation of non-partisan interests is an emerging area of discussion. Government fragmentation is useful, as the separation of powers and responsibility is at the core of any democratic system (Gong & Janssen, 2012). Government fragmentation is aggravated by the possibility that small political parties emphasize particularistic interests in their campaigning and legislative activity (Cirone & Urpelainen, 2013).

Thus the strategy of LGBT activists in Mexico has been to launch their own candidates from small political parties while building coalitions with other civil-society groups to pressure the larger parties (England, 2014). In Liberia the small political parties (those with less than 3 per cent of the vote or no representation in the presidential race), and independent candidates, are still prevalent, holding over a third of House seats and half of all Senate seats (Harris & Lewis, 2013). In Latvia, the key actors for the (mostly Russian-speaking) 'non-citizens' have been small political parties and interest groups – in a sense, 'outsiders on the inside', in but not fully of Latvia or the EU in terms of formal citizenship status (Saward, 2013).

Web 2.0 might move on this debate so that within election campaigns, political participation is not limited to voting (Lilleker & Jackson, 2011). In Africa the Internet has become a valuable tool, not only in helping promote pluralism within the media, and support the existence of independent media, but also in promoting participation of different actors in public debates (Salgado, 2012).

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