Indicating a way forward

A while back I wrote to my MP Jeremy Hunt (even though I have left the UK I can still write to my MP for my old address) when the indicative votes were being talked about.

Friday 22 March 2019

Dear Jeremy Hunt,

It seems you are going to put forward some alternative propositions for
the house to consider. The best way to do this is to pass a motion
suspending standing orders 38 to 41 and to use the lobbys for a
different voting method.

The options to be presented should each be supported by a number of
members, perhaps between 12 and 15 in line with standing order 1B3b.
There should be no limit to the number of options.

Members will submit a single ballot on which they will rank all options
in order of preference.

The ballots will be counted using the method of the Marquis of
, which simulates a pairwise comparison of every possible
pairing. This will result in the winning option being the one that
beats all others, unless a Condorcet cycle is found.

It should be decided in advance how to proceed in the event that a
Condorcet cycle is the outcome.

It is completely consistent with the standing orders of the house to
use the lobby for alternative voting procedures, standing orders 1 and
2 do this with secret ballots using single transferable votes. This is
achievable, would be fair and popular – people want to know what the
house would like to actually do.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Bell

I did get a reply – to be fair to the chap, Jeremy Hunt is pretty good at replying and taking action from time to time. I try to say things that don’t get put into a pile for a canned answer, and it does work.

Dear Mr Bell

Thank you for your email regarding your thoughts on alternate voting methods in the House of Commons.

I have written to the Leader of the House Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, forwarding your suggestions for her attention, and I will let you know when I receive a response.

Best wishes

Jeremy Hunt

Of course we know they didn’t do anything about it at the time and the indicative votes were rather inconclusive and pointless as they were not ranked order choices. Apparently there might be a new round of “definitive votes” and these ones could have options placed in ranked order, which is possibly going to give some kind of result or at least expose what the Condorcet cycle is.

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