Thursday, September 18, 2008

Proportional Representation?

Issue 8 on the November ballot will give voters in the city of Cincinnati the opportunity to select a new system for electing members of city council. The system, known as "Proportional Representation" would change the way we vote for city council and it would also change how votes are tabulated.

In doing my due diligence on the topic, I have discovered one critical thing: Nobody that I have talked with totally understands it. Do you?

In a recent article in the Business Courier, the system was described as follows: "In proportional representation, voters rank all the candidates, with the first choice receiving more weight than the second, and so on. That would replace the traditional winner-take-all system, in which voters pick specific candidates for whom to vote."

However, in the comments to that article, the following was written: "The article incorrectly describes Proportional Representation as a "weighted" voting system. Under P.R., instead of having 9 votes, everyone has one vote, and that vote is transferable based on the voter's stated intent. You rank your choices 1, 2, 3, and so on. Your vote counts for your first choice, unless that candidate cannot use your vote (either because she/he already has enough votes to be elected, or because she/he has so few votes that she/he cannot possibly be elected)."

I believe that the comment to the article is more correct. But, I'm still sorting it out.

Is this good for the Republican Party? Does it help our candidates?

Our Policy Committee will look at the issue next week.