Election Rules Clarification Amendment

abc

Duck
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It recently came to my attention that there is an inconsistency between what the Constitution says about judicial elections and what the Legal Code says. The Legal Code prescribes for justices to be elected by STV (single transferable vote), but the Constitution says they are to be elected by plurality. For Delegate and VD elections on the other hand, it says they are to be elected by a majority vote, which is compatible with the ranked-choice voting system in place for those elections.

I am basically just proposing a simple fix to eliminate this discrepancy for judicial elections.

EDIT:
I have amended my proposal to fix all relevant sections of the Constitution concerning elections. As Gorundu suggested, I have removed the clause from each relevant section which says by which method officials are to be elected. In addition to fixing the legal issue which I highlighted earlier, this will allow for changes to new voting systems more easily in future, without the hassle of also needing to amend the Constitution.

Election Rules Clarification Amendment:
1. Section 2.7 of the Constitution will be amended as follows:
7. The Regional Assembly will elect a Speaker every four months by a majority vote.
2. Section 3.12 of the Constitution will be amended as follows:
12. The Delegate and Vice Delegate will be elected by the Regional Assembly by a majority vote every four months. No person shall be elected Delegate to a full or partial term in three consecutive election cycles.
3. Section 4.6 of the Constitution will be amended as follows:
6. Justices will be elected by the Regional Assembly by a plurality vote every four months.
 
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Yemet

Ambassador to Balder
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Stated in the Legal Code, Section 4.6, “35. If there are more than three candidates for Justice, voters may rank the candidates, with the candidate ranked 1 being the first preference, the candidate ranked 2 being the next preference, and so on.”

In Constitution Article 4. The Court, “6. Justices will be elected by the Regional Assembly by a plurality vote every four months.”

Although badly worded in my opinion I see it as a Judicial election will be ran as a plurality vote unless there is more than three candidates in which it switches to STV.

So a Judicial election is a plurality vote by the constitution but it may also be made a ranked vote via the legal code.

It is not saying that it is a majority vote as a candidate can win via plurality instead of majority on both systems.
 

Sil Dorsett

0.00 g/dL
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Stated in the Legal Code, Section 4.6, “35. If there are more than three candidates for Justice, voters may rank the candidates, with the candidate ranked 1 being the first preference, the candidate ranked 2 being the next preference, and so on.”

In Constitution Article 4. The Court, “6. Justices will be elected by the Regional Assembly by a plurality vote every four months.”

Although badly worded in my opinion I see it as a Judicial election will be ran as a plurality vote unless there is more than three candidates in which it switches to STV.

So a Judicial election is a plurality vote by the constitution but it may also be made a ranked vote via the legal code.

It is not saying that it is a majority vote as a candidate can win via plurality instead of majority on both systems.

I'm afraid you're reading it poorly. ABC's right, and I'll explain...

Plurality means that the victors just need more votes than the others to win election, and that a majority is not required. But, what we've done in the Legal Code is make it so that justices must have a majority once losers are dropped and votes are transferred around. So, someone who may have more votes in the first round of an instant runoff election may not win because they don't get majority support in later rounds, but the Constitution is saying that they should be the winner because they only need a plurality. And remember, the Legal Code has to comply with the Constitution. If there's a discrepancy between what the Legal Code says and what the Constitution says, the Constitution wins. So, we do need this change, and we need it done before November.

Also, three candidate races for Justice (as far as the Legal Code says right now) are not plurality votes, they're STVs, with the first two justices getting a majority and the third justice winning unanimously.
 

Yemet

Ambassador to Balder
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I'm afraid you're reading it poorly. ABC's right, and I'll explain...

Plurality means that the victors just need more votes than the others to win election, and that a majority is not required. But, what we've done in the Legal Code is make it so that justices must have a majority once losers are dropped and votes are transferred around. So, someone who may have more votes in the first round of an instant runoff election may not win because they don't get majority support in later rounds, but the Constitution is saying that they should be the winner because they only need a plurality. And remember, the Legal Code has to comply with the Constitution. If there's a discrepancy between what the Legal Code says and what the Constitution says, the Constitution wins. So, we do need this change, and we need it done before November.

Also, three candidate races for Justice (as far as the Legal Code says right now) are not plurality votes, they're STVs, with the first two justices getting a majority and the third justice winning unanimously.
That does make sense, thank you for explaining it to me.

This does indeed need to be changed.
 

abc

Duck
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Since this is fairly straightforward, I would like to bring this to a vote soon, however, as Pallaith pointed out in the Discord, there are probably other simple changes that need to be made to the Constitution that could potentially be squeezed in as part of this amendment.
 

Gorundu

Doing my Chinese homework
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The current election system is not actually STV, but a system called preferential block voting. Many people confuse STV (Single transferrable vote) with IRV (instant runoff vote). IRV is the system we use for the General Elections, while STV is a voting system for multi-seat elections.

Anyway, the thing is, the strict definition for a "majority vote" is quite narrow. It means someone/something getting more than half the votes. And the only way to guarantee that someone/something wins a majority is when the choice is two-way (either there are only two candidates, or the vote is a yes/no vote). However, there are several other ways a "majority vote" can be interpreted as. Firstly, there's the majority criterion, which states that "if one candidate is ranked first by a majority (more than 50%) of voters, then that candidate must win". Technically, a plurality system satisfies this because if no one is ranked first by a majority of voters, then this is irrelevant. Then there's the mutual majority criterion, which states " if there is a subset S of the candidates, such that more than half of the voters strictly prefer every member of S to every candidate outside of S, this majority voting sincerely, the winner must come from S". That's pretty wordy but basically IRV satisfies this while plurality vote doesn't (our previous two-round system also fails this). And then there's the Condorcet criterion, which says the candidate who wins a majority of the vote in every head-to-head election against each of the other candidates should win the election. The caveat here is that such a candidate doesn't always exist. Both IRV and plurality vote fail this test. Lastly there's the Smith criterion, which is essentially a combination of the mutual majority and the Condorcet criteria.

And that was only for single-seat elections.

Our current judicial election system, preferential block voting, is described as a "majoritarian" voting system. The reason is it allows a group that has the support of a majority of voters to gain more seats than they would receive under a proportional representation system. However, these descriptions are very much based on real-world politics, where there are political parties and so on. This is obviously not the case in TNP. The word "majoritarian" only describes a philosophy, not a strict criterion. In fact, the Wikipedia index of voting systems put plurality and majoritarian systems under the same broad category, since plurality voting systems also has the effect of giving the largest group more representation than they would receive under proportional representation. Unlike single-seat elections, there are no criteria for multi-seat elections, because they are so much more complex.

So, as it is, I feel like describing this system as a "majority vote" is no more accurate than describing it as a "plurality vote". It would be more accurate to describe it as "preferential vote", or just get rid of the part that says "by a ___ vote". As for our single-position General Elections, I suppose it's sensible to do the same.

(Yes, I spent way too much time researching voting systems just to make this post.)
 
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