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The Limited Preferrential Voting (LPV) System in Papua New Guinea

Updated on February 19, 2017
PNGEC Logo
PNGEC Logo | Source

Electoral Commission of Papua New Guinea

The independent body that is responsible for all election related matters in Papua New Guinea is the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission.

What is the First Past the Post Voting (FPPV) System?

First Past the Post Voting (FPPV) System is a voting system where voters are allowed to cast only one vote on a ballot. This means that the voter will vote for only one candidate.

A major disadvantage of this voting system is that a candidate with a smaller percentage of votes in a sample often wins the election.

Suppose that a village of ten (10) people have to elect a leader. Suppose also that there are four (4) candidates. After voting using this system, Candidate 1 scores 2 votes, Candidate 2 scores 4 votes, Candidate 3 scores 1 vote and Candidate 4 scores 2 votes.

In the example above, using this system, Candidate 2 will be declared winner because that particular candidate scored the highest number of votes, which is 4.But the problem is that only 4 out of the 10 voters wanted Candidate 2 to be their leader. 6 people out of the 10 do not want Candidate 2 to be their leader.

This will lead to conflicts.

LPV is 1, 2, 3: Papua New Guinea Interpretation
LPV is 1, 2, 3: Papua New Guinea Interpretation | Source

What is the Limited Preferential Voting (LPV) System?

The Limited Preferential Voting (LPV) System is a voting system where voters are allowed to cast three vote on a ballot. This means that the voter will vote for three different candidates, in their order of preference.

A feature that stands out in using this voting system is that a candidate with more than fifty (50% + 1 vote) percent of votes in a sample often wins the election.

Suppose that a village of ten (10) people have to elect a leader. Suppose also that there are four (4) candidates. After voting using this system and counting the first preference votes, Candidate 1 scores 3 votes, Candidate 2 scores 4 votes, Candidate 3 scores 1 vote and Candidate 4 scores 2 votes.

In the example above, using this system, Candidate 2 will not be declared winner yet because that particular candidate scored the highest number of votes, which is 4 but didn't get the 50 percent plus 1 vote. The fifty percent plus 1 vote is also know as the absolute majority.

What happens when the absolute majority is not reached? The candidate with the least number of first preference votes is eliminated. For this case, Candidate 3 who has scored only 1 vote will be eliminated. Let's assume the person who voted Candidate 3 as their first preference also voted Candidate 1 as their second preference.

This ballot paper will now be given to Candidate 1 and counted. When counting is done, the progressive scores will be as follows:

  • Candidate 1 --> 4
  • Candidate 2 --> 4
  • Candidate 3 --> eliminated
  • Candidate 4 --> 2

Now let us eliminate Candidate 4 since we have not reached the absolute majority. Let us assume that the second preference of Candidate 4 is given to Candidate 1. New progressive score will be:

  • Candidate 1 --> 6
  • Candidate 2 --> 4
  • Candidate 3 --> eliminated
  • Candidate 4 --> eliminated

Now the results indicate that Candidate 1 will be declared the winner because the candidate has scored 6 votes, which is 50% (5 votes out of 10 voters) + 1 more vote while Candidate 2 has only 4 votes.

Which is easier?

What System of Voting is Easier?

See results

Which Do You Prefer?

Which Voting System Do You Prefer?

See results

Comparision

Using the First Past the Voting (FPPV) System, the candidate with the highest number of the first preferential votes is declared the winner. This number may not be the majority of the sample population.

Using the Limited Preferential Voting (LPV) System, the candidate with the highest number of votes may not necessarily be declared the winner. The person with the highest percentage of votes exceeding the absolute majority will most likely be declared the winner.

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