Re: Consensus and multiple candidates
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 16:56:47 -0800 (PST)

On Nov 9, 2009, at 10:32 AM, Jeanne Goodman wrote:

Something that I have seen done effectively in the past is that each
community member ranks a preference. Total the rankings and find the two
lowest candidates and ask for consensus on those candidates.

A very good source on preferential voting is here:

The version I prefer is the "5 stars" that are used in the Olympics, arts judging, restaurant reviews, etc. but it hasn't been tested in governance elections. The most tested method is instant run-off in which all candidates are ranked. On the first count, the choice with the least votes is dropped as an option. The ballots of the people who had chosen that option as their first choice are now counted according to their second choice. That process is repeated until one choice remains.

One value of the 5 star preferential voting is that the final choice will be everyone's first or second choice, depending on the number of people being ranked and except for outliers.

What I like about this kind of voting is that it doesn't require a yes or no. If there are ten options 5 or all of them might be perfectly satisfactory to me. Not being forced to choose only one records my preferences much more accurately.

The only true election by consensus is the sociocratic governance method of open elections. Short of that, preferential voting provides the most representative choice.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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