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Why singing in harmony pays in STV

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, August 26th, 2013 - 32 comments
Categories: grant robertson, labour, Shane Jones - Tags: ,

As I understand it, the vote by Labour party members for the leadership will be by a Single Transferable Vote (STV) method. What this means is that you vote for your preferred candidate, then for your next preferred candidate, and so on until all of the candidates have been ranked. A tedious chore that I have had to do too often for local body elections.

When the first preference voting is counted and no outright winner is found as usually happens in elections with large numbers of candidates, then the lowest candidate is eliminated. If your preferred candidate is eliminated, your next preference is counted on the subsequent vote. This process carries on until the vote gives a majority to a single candidate

This, to me,  this probably explains the remarkable singing in harmony of the two currently  declared candidates here this morning. Based on the current feeling around members, Grant Robertson  is likely to be the first preference candidate of some members and the second preference for even more. Shane Jones is less likely to get many first preference votes, and I suspect will wind up as being the last – especially amongst female members who regard him with a vast distaste.

However they are likely to be the second or third preferences of many. By making it a three way race and dividing the first preference votes, it increases the probability of of no candidate getting an outright majority on the first preference.

But more importantly in a 3 way race of the type expected, then Jones is likely to be eliminated on the first round. If people who voted for him gave their second preference to overwhelmingly to one or the other of the candidates – for instance Robertson, then this would enhance his chances of winning the next round on second preference votes. The way to do this is to make absolutely clear who the preferred alternate candidate of one of the other candidates was. Electorally this would be a effectively way of dragging “smoko room” votes to join to beltway votes.

Tiresomely obvious to crusty old Labour party members and in my view worthy only of those strange political contests in universities rather than real politics. But I’d guess that does define many of the political jonolists looking for a nice story and for whom it is targeted – but I’m a old cynic.

 

32 comments on “Why singing in harmony pays in STV”

  1. Tigger 1

    Cynicism is warranted here.

  2. Ray 2

    Is it true if you tried to overcome the problem of having to vote for someone you feel is not fit for the job by leaving your other preferences blank that it would be considered an invalid vote full stop

    Hope not and that doesn’t sound very democratic, bad enough that some Union and Party members seem get to bites at the cherry

    • lprent 2.1

      I’d expect that to turn out to be a myth for the simple. ie Whaleoil style designed for fools to believe and trolls to promulgate.

      It would only invalidate your vote if your preferred candidate had the least number of votes as a first preference and got cut. Then of course if you do not have a valid second preference so your vote is therefore invalid on the second round.

      In the event of my least favourite STV vote for the local hospital board in Auckland, there are usually about twenty of so candidates. I usually only have the faintest idea on about 5 or 6. I only vote on those because anything else is just random. You’d expect to see 90+% of the votes to be invalid if what you suggested was true. Doesn’t happen because the notes on every STV ballot paper I have ever read states taht you don’t have to fill them all in.

      BTW: Unions are usually pretty relaxed about you joining them – just cough up the membership. Unlike political parties I suspect that their rules allow you to join many of them… However since a individual union member’s vote is about (20% * (1/~40k)) = 5/8th of F/A, I suspect that a Labour membership at (40%*(1/~10k)) is worth whole lot more. A caucus member has the most impact. However since they

      Of course you could look at the National party where only the caucus can vote. How do you feel about that?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Further in one of those local elections, you would be very surprised if your preferences beyond 5 or 6 even counted for anything. (The exception being if you were determined to put all the no hope candidates up high)

        Ranking all 20 candidates on a ballot paper is typically a waste of time.

      • McFlock 2.1.2

        I do recall an election for, ahem, “another organisation”, where every voting bloc was offered an “exchange” of second votes – i.e. “you vote yourself at the top, with me second option, I’ll vote for myself at the top, you second option”.

        Apparently they offered this deal to everyone, voted themselves #1 and left the rest of the sheet blank. Of course enough naive fools fell for it for the schemers to win in the second round.

        Put me right off STV with blank boxes allowed. I reckon that the blanks in each round should be randomly assigned to the remaining candidates – that might lessen the effect.

      • Tracey 2.1.3

        +1

        I don’t get why some people are upset about unions, who founded the labour Party, get to vote or influence the party. It’s not like they do it secretly, like, say, heaps of donors to ACT and National.

        EVERYONE knows they have some influence. Somehow this is seen by some as worse than shadowy influencers who fought hard to keep their influence secret in 2007.

      • Ray 2.1.4

        Thanks for that, I gather know one has actually seen the rules on vote counting but I expect (hope) it is as you say, no name in a box other than your preferred candidate still get counted

        As for National leadership, how they achieve that is not my worry, they are yesterdays men

        • lprent 2.1.4.1

          Mike Williams was waving them around on Saturday on The Nation. I suspect they’ll be floating around somewhere..

          I’d have located and read them, but between work and this site I’ve been too busy.

    • lurgee 2.2

      You’ve befuddled by STV myth #1.

      You don’t have to vote for someone you feel is not up to the job.

      You can vote for one candidate, or all candidates, or any number inbetween,

  3. Greywarbler 3

    A song for Labour right now

    Don’t cry for me – Aotearoa
    It won’t be easy, you’ll think it strange
    When I try to explain how I feel
    That I still need your love after all that I’ve done
    You won’t believe me
    All you will see is a girl you once knew
    Although she’s dressed up to the nines
    At sixes and sevens with you

    I had to let it happen, I had to change
    Couldn’t stay all my life down at heel
    Looking out of the window, staying out of the sun
    So I chose freedom
    Running around, trying everything new
    But nothing impressed me at all
    I never expected it to

    Don’t cry for me Aotearoa – Argentina
    The truth is I never left you
    All through my wild days
    My mad existence
    I kept my promise
    Don’t keep your distance

    And as for fortune, and as for fame
    I never invited them in
    Though it seems to the world they were all I desired
    They are illusions
    They’re not the solutions they promised to be
    The answer was here all the time
    I love you and hope you love me
    Don’t cry for me (Aotearoa) Argentina

    Have I said too much?
    There’s nothing more I can think of to say to you
    But all you have to do is look at me
    To know that every word is true

    Don’t cry for me Aotearoa (Argentina)

    From Sarah Brightman – Don’t Cry For Me Argentina Lyrics | MetroLyrics

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      awesome!!!

      • mac1 3.1.1

        You might like this one, too, CV,

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAUlratIfKs&feature=youtu.be

        Shearer’s resignation speech, sung operatically.

        • Greywarbler 3.1.1.1

          I was both stirred and shaken by this musical address. Politics has become so interesting as a result of blogs and everybody’s input.

          Like a many faceted diamond, and with that diamond we may cut through to the inner beauty of a core of electable people with practical policies! Hear, hear I say. Though I say it myself that was a good line of fluff. I offer it to anyone on the Left who finds it useful, no charge.

  4. lurgee 4

    Ed Milliband won the Labour leadership by being everyone’s second choice, even though more people wanted his brother to get the job. Equally, brother david was described as many people’s first choice, but no-one’s second. I wonder if Cunliffe may fall into the same pit?

    I don’t understand why women would view Shane Jones with distaste. Because he watched some porn? I think most men will do that, from time to time. And I think most NZ women are sensible enough to see that as the rather crap non-story it is.

    • lprent 4.1

      It was in his comments long before the wanking session. He appears to have had issues with having women bosses and generally with anyone who isn’t himself… For some reason being in love with yourself doesn’t appear to be particularly attractive to women.

      I must actually make up a list of the posts we’ve done about him here….

    • Uncle Geoff 4.2

      His reference to female politicians as “geldings”, in relatively recent times, would seem to me to be a pretty good reason to not favour selecting him for leadership of the Labour party. Viewing porn was not in his favour, but to subsequently make the remarks that he did has surely cooked his goose as far as his leadership prospects are concerned.

    • Tracey 4.3

      and calling women “geldings”. My problem is less with him watching porn than thinking that hard working NZers should pay for it when he collects over $150k a year in salary and expenses. That smacks of entitlement to me and disdain for women (gelding). I saw him on telly last night, admittedly he was edited by Gower… he came across as a buffoon to me.

      • felix 4.3.1

        I don’t think he called women geldings, I think he was actually saying that Labour men may as well be geldings if they stand by and allow gender issues to be taken seriously.

        And yes, a buffoon. A slurring, slow-witted, arrogant, boorish buffoon.

        • Greywarbler 4.3.1.1

          felix
          Jones has shown up well in his business dealings and I think that has flavoured the opinions of him favourably in Labour as an affluent bloke who is also a Maori which gives another tick. I think he is Joyce’s Labour version.

          • lprent 4.3.1.1.1

            A “businessman” who operates in our local market by making a business out of their connections in the political world?

            Hardly a sterling example to set all of the entrepreneurs who we want to create income for the country offshore.

      • lurgee 4.3.2

        My reading of the gelding comment was he was comparing affirmative action nonenties to people who got where they were through having (hem) what it takes:

        Mr Jones said he had spent yesterday in and around Kerikeri and Kaitaia talking about the proposal, “and the overwhelming response is the public doesn’t want the country run by geldings”.

        “Of course it’s important that we have a diverse set of personalities in our caucus but merit cannot be disowned for mediocrity, whether it’s Maoris, women or anyone else.”

        After all, if he was refering to women, he’d have to be very stupid as a gelding is a castrated male horse.

  5. lurgee 5

    It’s not really STV, by the way. This seems to be Alternative Vote.

    • lprent 5.1

      Yeah I haven’t seen the documents. But it is the same thing really, just limits the number of alternatives.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        If your assessment is correct, why didn’t someone like Nanaia put herself forward, or Adern, to neutralise the apparent anomoly

  6. Takere 6

    Cunliffes announcement yesterday was an absolute embarrassment! Tell him to pull out now! That kind of performance bumbling through like an amature will just scare voters away in droves! Something labour can’t afford. Jones & Robertson is the only choice now.

    • Tracey 6.1

      Yup, Jones announcement was much more polished and full of how he will change the country.

      He’s lucky NZ has grown up so much, haven’t seen a single discussion of his race in the way I have seen discussions about Robertson’s sexuality. He sure is lucky those who oppose him have more maturity than he. Example calling women “geldings”.

      Of all the people I have seen posting you seem to know the most about Jones. Can you outline for me what he stands for and what policies he supports for NZ? Specifics please.

    • Greywarbler 6.2

      Takere
      You sound as if you like Jones as a stud. But that is not the type of person we want in a Labour leader, a strutting show-off with inflated ideas of his ability. Why replace Key with Jones – can’t you see how similar they are. As for Robertson I don’t know, but the others here aren’t keen – thoughtful numbers must count for something, too many to be ignored.

  7. Tracey 7

    This is not the voting paper and may already have been posted but I hope this links people to the leadership election rules.

    https://www.google.co.nz/#fp=f5bccdd6cd6e1e40&q=labour+party+voting+papers+nz

  8. karen 8

    Shane Jones belongs in the National Party. He is basically a right-wing, corporate, sexist dinosaur who spends as much time attacking the Green party as National. I’ve voted Labour all my life but if Shane Jones is the leader I’m going Green.

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