Ranked-choice voting (RCV) refers to systems where voters rank their choices in order of preference.
The good thing about these systems is that they eliminate the vote-splitting or lesser-evil problem of single-seat, plurality-wins elections like we have in most of the United States.
However, it makes a huge difference whether RCV is applied to single-member districts or multi-member districts.
If applied to single-member districts, RCV will grossly underrepresent minority parties like the Green Party today as much as single-member, plurality-wins
If applied to multi-member districts, ranked-choice voting will create Proportional Representation (PR). Parties will have representatives in legislative bodies in proportion to the votes they receive.
We just had a real-life experiment demonstrating these differences in the Australian elections of May 18, 2019.
The Australian House of Representatives is elected by RCV in single-member districts. The Green Party got 10% of the total first preference votes, but only 1 of 151 seats.
The Australian Senate is elected by RCV in eight multi-member districts to create PR. The Green Party got 11% of the total first preference vote for 6 of the 40 Senate seats up in this election. In 2016, when all 76 Senate seats were up for election, the Greens’ 9% of the total first preference votes resulted in Greens
elected to 9 of 76 seats.
The lesson for American Greens?
It is self-defeating for Greens to demand RCV for legislative bodies in what remain single-member districts. Winning that demand will not give the people whose first preference is the Green Party their fair share of representation.
Demanding RCV for single-seat executive offices like mayor, governor, and president is fine.
PR should be our demand and goal for legislative bodies. RCV in multi-members districts is simply the method for PR.
Thanks, Howie, I hadn’t thought about PR in that way. I agree with you.
If we can’t get rid of the EC because of small population states wanting to protect their disproportionate influence, perhaps we CAN get proportional award of electors within states based in total vote share – thus convertibg an ekection in handful of swing states ibto an actual batiobal election where every voter has an equal opportunity to effect selection of their chief executive. Aeard if ekectors us state controlled so this would not reqiire any Constitutoobal amendment, just state kegislative action.
Electoral College is NOT THE PROBLEM …. RATIFYING the First Amendment BILL of RIGHTS is the solution to democracy denied in Congress….50 thousand persons per Congressional District was the intention of General Washington who testified to only one of our TWELVE BILL of RIGHTS…quit reading fake textbooks and read the hand written BILL of RIGHTS …..the last ten were ratified 15 Dec1791… the 1st Amendment only had 8 states then….Kentucky was last to ratify in 1793 WE NEED 27 MORE STATES TO RESTORE LOCAL DEMOCRACY IN CONGRESS…….send 6000 local honest people to OUTVOTE the 435 bribed incumbents there now