Following from my post yesterday about MMP, another conservative rails against a democratic system because she is losing and once again we see facts being ignored in favour of the “waaah! It’s unfair and undemocratic” form of complaint.

The source of the problem is once again the idea that elections are a competition where the winner is the first past the line.

For those not in the know, STV is a Single Transferable Vote system. The way it works is that voters are provided a list of candidates and they rank those candidates in the order of preference.

Then the votes are counted based on ranking and via a series of rounds. As candidates drop off the listing, voters who voted for that candidate then have their next option placed until eventually the person the most people are willing to have as Mayor is selected.

Obviously this is a long process, but it also ensures that literally every vote counts. This is a vey democratic system because the voter gets to say “if not enough people like my primary candidate X, I am still happy to have candidate Y or Z.” Which in turn means you have a better chance of *not* getting a candidate winning that you don’t want in office.

The best tactic for this is to literally not place them in any of your preferences – which causes them to drop off your potential transferable votes.

Kerry Predergast, the current Mayor of Wellington, is clearly suffering from sour grapes because this election the result is so close between her and candidate Celia Ward-Brown, that she is now whining that it is an unfair system because she might lose this election.

In all the years I have lived in Wellington, I have heard nothing but scorn from people about Kerry. So much that it boggled my mind that she was ever able to get back into power.

The way Kerry sees the process is that she got the most votes as first preference. (We don’t know this for certain, by the way, she’s just assuming that most of her votes come from being number 1) and as such, she should win because other voters clearly weren’t as decisive as her supporters.

Thus it is unfair that she could lose because the other votes once they have gone through all the preferences could “steal” the mayoralty away from her.

But this is a democratic system. Kerry is seeing it as heats in a contest where her supporters only showed up for the first heat, and thus only voted once while other voters are voting more often to find a person to win.

But that isn’t how it works. All of Kerry’s votes still count each round. And as the rounds continue, her total number of votes increase.

This process ensures that the person who wins is the person that the most people in the city are happy to have as Mayor. That is the very definition of a democratic election.

Like National, Kerry is not interested in facts or the needs of the voters – she is only interested in getting her way and is upset to be facing the reality that the majority might not want her to be in power anymore. Now she is desperately trying to play the democracy card and is lying about how the system works.

She is arrogantly making assumptions about the voting, and clearly doesn’t understand how the system works or what a democratic election is about.

Hopefully this is a sign that KP is on the way out and a fresh approach to Wellington is on the way in. Based on how Kerry is acting, she is exposing exactly why she is a poor fit for Mayor for this city.

Conan

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