Ranked-choice Based Voting System

Often the first-past-the-post (FPP) system is criticised for being non-inclusive and the alternative proportional system is criticised as actually exacerbate polarisation. Hence an alternative in Ranked-choice based voting (RCV) system is being proposed.

Features of the Ranked-choice based Voting System

  • Under the RCV, instead of voting for only one candidate, a voter ranks the candidates in order of preference.
  • In the first round of counting, every voter’s first-ranked votes alone are counted. If any candidate reaches the 50 per cent mark, He/she is declared the winner.
  • If not, the candidate with the lowest share of first-rank votes is eliminated. The second-rank votes of the candidate who was eliminated are now counted and added to the tally of remaining candidates.
  • If a candidate now closes the 50 per cent mark, that candidate wins. If not, this process of elimination and re-distribution is continued until either one candidate crosses the 50 per cent mark, or is the last one standing.

How it is better?

The democratic deficit in RCV is comparatively lower than FPP since the winning candidate secures or comes very close to the 50 per cent mark. On the other hand RCV also reduces political polarisation since parties cannot win elections by relying solely on their base as they require not only enough first-rank votes but also a sufficient number of second and third-rank votes. This would necessitate them to build broad social coalitions.

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