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Friday, 10 September 2010

Voting for General Synod, or General Custard

So, the date for confirmation of General Synod candidates is now passed, and all over England you can hear the clicking of computer keyboards and the scratching of quill-pens as candidates fine-tune their election addresses, or statements. These go to all members of Deanery Synods, the electorate for most constituencies.

Voting is by the Single Transferable Voting system; General Synod being one of the few national organisations using it for their elections. So what is STV, and how does it work? - Well the subtleties of it are way beyond my explanations; but in short, it's not just a 'put a cross in a box'. The principle is that it preserves the voters' wishes for subsequent candidates, if your first choice candidate is not elected at the first count. 

So if you have a list of 15 candidates on the ballot voting form, you don't just vote for your favourite 1. For a start, there may be 6 places to be filled (your milage may vary). 

So, Yellow Custard, or Chocolate Custard? 
If there are several Chocolate Custard fans standing for Synod, and you wish to support them, rather than the Yellow Custard fans, then for a start you must vote for them - all of them. But if there are only 5 ChocCustards, and 6 places available, then what? Well, YellowCustards may not be your favourites - but they may, in your opinion be better on Synod than the Marmite fans. So there could be advantages in making sure in general that all custard fans are ranked higher on your voting slip than the Marmiters.

Someone else has tried to summarise the principles as set out below. Me? I'm voting for the Marmiters.

  • If you have a vote, we would encourage you to use your vote fully for these candidates if you feel you can. 
  • Numbering the candidates consecutively in your order of preference is the best way of ensuring that those you want to get elected do get elected.  
  • It makes a big difference to go on voting down the preferences with a second and third and fourth choice and so on.   
  • In the past some candidates from (insert 'party' of your choice...) have failed to get elected because voters only gave a first vote, whereas some subsequent votes (second and third choices etc) would have helped some candidates get over the finishing line.   
  • The single transferable vote system which is used works in such a way that the later preferences you give in no way detract from those candidates to whom you have given earlier preferences.

Ballot papers for voting will be coming out in a week or so. Happy voting, voters!


Chelliah Laity said...

I am standing as a candidate to the House of Laity. I have set up a blog in the run up to the election and would welcome comments. Please do visit it.

Shania said...

I think these voting figures show that a July vote on women bishops will not pass in the house of laity by the necessary two thirds majority.That seems to be how he spends an awful lot of his time.


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