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The Voting Game



Many of us are aware that there are ways of electing representatives to
government other than the one we use, but our knowledge of how these systems
work is often rather vague. "The Voting Game" is a workshop designed to
provide a hands-on non-judgemental experience of five of these systems.
"Ballot papers" for each of these different systems are distributed to the
15-25 workshop participants (fewer or more than this is possible, but
creates difficulties), and then they vote for the various fictitious
candidates, the same ones each time, to see how the results differ under the
different systems.

We start with the system with which we are familiar, popularly called "First
past the post", and then look at the "Majoritarian system" (used e.g. in
France), the "Single Transferable Vote", and two forms of "Proportional
Representation" ("List" amd "Mixed"; there are others). The "Electoral
Officer" who leads the workshop lists the advantages and disadvantages of
each system - no system is perfect! - gives examples of where each is used,
and provides an opportunity for questions and discussion.

The workshop is fun, and usually takes about 1 1/2 hrs to work through. A
kit (currently under revision) was developed for the World Federalists of
Canada by Philip Symons, and is (will be, shortly) available from him at
2125 Lansdowne Rd., Victoria, B.C., V8P 1B5; (250) 592-6484; or

-- Caspar Davis <>