2017 update to the SPI voting algorithm for Board elections

Ian Jackson ijackson at chiark.greenend.org.uk
Thu Mar 2 17:11:04 UTC 2017

Thanks to everyone for their comments.  Here is a revised draft
resolution.  The first part of `whereas' section has been rewritten,
and paragraph 7 (about software choice etc.) replaced as suggested in
the discussion.



1. SPI should elect its Board using a roughly-proportional voting
   system.  Condorcet is good for single-winner elections but is
   seriously lacking in proportionality in multi-winner elections such
   as SPI's Board Elections.

2. SPI is not equipped to effectively design or analyse voting
   systems.  We wish to adopt a system widely used elsewhere, and
   which is recommended by civil society organisations specialising in
   voting reform.

3. The Single Transferrable Vote is the only proportional voting
   system, suitable for SPI, which meets these criteria.

4. The Scottish STV variant is clearly specified; we have an
   established and stable Free Software implementation of it; and it
   is straightforward to (re)implement.  Other STV variants appear to
   lack some of these good properties.

5. Ian Jackson has offered to help with the implementation of STV for


5. Future elections to the SPI Board will be counted according to the
   Scottish Single Transferrable Vote.  Scottish STV will also be
   used by SPI for any other multi-winner election.

6. Specifically, the algorithm to be used is that specified in
   Rules 45-52 of the Scottish Local Government Elections Order
   2007 (a UK Statutory Instrument):

7. The practical implementation will be by means of software; for
   example, perhaps the openstv package in Debian.  The choice of
   software is up to the Secretary.  However, any differences between
   the Rules in the Order, and whatever software implementation is
   chosen, are to be resolved in favour of the Rules.

8. The SPI Secretary is requested to liase with Ian Jackson, so that
   the necessary changes to SPI software and infrastructure can be
   identified and implemented.

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