The gold standard of electoral systems is the single transferable vote form of proportional representation using multi-member electoral districts.
Features of the gold standard include:
- Electoral districts each returning the same number of members, with a district magnitude of 5 or 7
- An odd number of districts
- Electors explicitly mark candidates in their order of preference, as few or as many as they choose
- Each member represents the same number of voters
- Allocation of votes to candidates uses either the Weighted Inclusive Gregory Transfer method or the Meek method
- The chair, president, speaker or mayor has either a deliberative or a casting vote, but not both
- Casual vacancies filled by countback
- Ballot papers printed in multiple different versions, using Robson Rotation
- Entrenchment of the electoral system via referendum
For smaller representative bodies such as local government councils, the district magnitude can also be 3.
Upgrading to the gold standard would deliver:
- a group of representatives (the parliament) that better reflects the views of voters;
- ensure that many more voters have a representative in their district that they actually voted for; and
- enable voters to choose between candidates from the same party, e.g. between male or female candidates, or between a sitting member and a renewal candidate.
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