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Matrix vote the way forward for Assembly

Published 24/05/2016

Rule based on Government versus Opposition implies decisions are taken by (simple or weighted) majority vote. But majority voting is the most inaccurate measure of opinion ever invented.

In the Assembly, two reforms are necessary.

Firstly, contentious matters should be resolved on the basis of a ballot that is also multi-optional.

Secondly, the question of who is to be which minister, including who is to be the Justice Minister, should be resolved by identifying the particular MLAs most suited to these tasks - regardless of party affiliations.

Rather than the d'Hondt methodology, which is exclusive to the larger parties, a more inclusive procedure could be a matrix vote; this would allow every MLA to vote, in order of preference, not only for those whom they wanted to be in the Executive, but also for the particular ministry in which they wished each nominee to serve.

The matrix vote is accurate, robust and ethno-colour blind.

PETER EMERSON

Director, The de Borda Institute

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