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Preferential voting and the FPPL


J. J.
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Would preferential voting, in the cases of non officer elections, violate fundamental principle of parliamentary law expressed in 45:2?  Please explain the answer either way. 

In a specific example, a society is holding its annual installation dinner.  It has a choice between:  A.  The Westside Country Club,  B. Cesare's Banquet Hall, C. The Eastdale County Club, D.  Natoshi Hall.

 

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1 hour ago, J. J. said:

Would preferential voting, in the cases of non officer elections, violate fundamental principle of parliamentary law expressed in 45:2?  Please explain the answer either way. 

In a specific example, a society is holding its annual installation dinner.  It has a choice between:  A.  The Westside Country Club,  B. Cesare's Banquet Hall, C. The Eastdale County Club, D.  Natoshi Hall.

The forms of preferential voting available vary quite widely, but I will assume here that the question refers to a form of preferential voting similar in kind to that described in RONR (12th ed.) 45:62-69. If you mean something different by "preferential voting," the answer may well be different.

In my view, voting in this manner does not violate the fundamental principle of parliamentary law "that each person who is a member of a deliberative assembly is entitled to one - and only one - vote on a question." (45:2) A member who casts a vote in such a system has only cast one vote, but the member has given detailed instructions on the manner in which that vote is to be counted, and the member's vote is counted as only a single vote at any given time.

I would add that, in my opinion, the answer to this question is not any different in the case of an officer election. I see no reason why the subject matter of the vote would change whether the voting method violates the FPPL in 45:2. RONR does provide that preferential voting must be authorized in the bylaws for officer elections, but that is a separate rule.

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56 minutes ago, Josh Martin said:

I would add that, in my opinion, the answer to this question is not any different in the case of an officer election. I see no reason why the subject matter of the vote would change whether the voting method violates the FPPL in 45:2. RONR does provide that preferential voting must be authorized in the bylaws for officer elections, but that is a separate rule.

The reason officers were exempted in my question was specifically not to refer to a bylaw requirement.  Obviously, a bylaw may permit preferential voting.

The member voting has effectively made a second choice and potentially a third and fourth choice.   He has said, in effect, "I vote for A, but if A doesn't win, I vote for C.  If A and C don't win, I'm voting for D."

There is a related question as well, not dealing with the FPPL aspect.

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9 hours ago, J. J. said:

The member voting has effectively made a second choice and potentially a third and fourth choice.   He has said, in effect, "I vote for A, but if A doesn't win, I vote for C.  If A and C don't win, I'm voting for D."

Yes, and that is precisely the point. The member has cast one vote, but by ranking the choices accordingly, has provided instructions on the manner in which that vote is to be counted. At no point is the member's vote counted as more than one vote. Voting in this manner is intended to simulate the effects of multiple rounds of voting, to the extent that doing so is possible with a single ballot. Casting such a vote does not cast more than one vote on the question any more than voting in multiple rounds of voting does.

Conversely, a system which permitted a member to cast multiple votes for a particular choice which would be simultaneously counted, such as "cumulative voting" as discussed in RONR (12th ed.) 46:43, would violate the "one person one vote" FPPL.

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3 hours ago, J. J. said:

Those additional choices could be considered additional votes.

In each round of voting, each voter is casting one single vote. 

The fact that the voter has pre-determined how they would vote if there is to be a subsequent round of voting has nothing to do with the casting of the single vote in this round.

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3 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

In each round of voting, each voter is casting one single vote. 

The fact that the voter has pre-determined how they would vote if there is to be a subsequent round of voting has nothing to do with the casting of the single vote in this round.

The predetermined vote is still a second vote, et cetera, vote.  My problem, I think, is more with how the FPPL is worded, not preferential voting or how the FPPL probably should function. 

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I'll just leave at it this: I see no conflict between the fundamental principle of parliamentary law stated in 45:2 and preferential voting.

Any perceived conflict is not unique to preferential voting; it would also apply to multiple rounds of balloting in the case of an incomplete election. 

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1 minute ago, Atul Kapur said:

I'll just leave at it this: I see no conflict between the fundamental principle of parliamentary law stated in 45:2 and preferential voting.

Any perceived conflict is not unique to preferential voting; it would also apply to multiple rounds of balloting in the case of an incomplete election. 

I will agree that the conflict is not unique.  I would have hoped that 45:2 was clearer. 

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