Friday, March 23, 2018

Electoral Tie-Breaking

I've not seen national news coverage yet, but a (council?) by-election in Ockendon, Thurrock has been resolved by drawing a name out of a box. Local coverage can be found here and here.

So far, I'm not clear on the facts of the case. The Thurrock Gazette reports the first count gave a one-vote difference, before a recount led to an exact tie (696 each) and a lottery. In that case, I'd expect another recount, to confirm whether it really was a tie or not, before the lottery.

However, reports that there were three recounts. (I don't know whether they actually mean an original count and two recounts, or whether they really mean three recounts, i.e. four counts total.)

Predictably, comments sections show some opposition to lotteries, but I'm pleased to see that they continue to play a part in our democracy.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Age-based Voting in the EU Referendum

In the aftermath of the EU ('Brexit') Referendum, there was a lot of talk about the disparity between the old (who it seems voted in larger numbers and mainly to leave) and the young (who mainly voted to remain, but many of whom did not vote - or for under 18s were not eligible to do so).

Here is Sean Lock, proposing to include those over 10 but exclude those over 65. You'll need institutional access to Box of Broadcasts.

If you don't have that, my TV guide says it was from Series 4, Episode 6 of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, which seems to be confirmed by 4OD. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to square with what I can find on Youtube, where episodes seem to be wrongly labelled. It featured Bill Bailey and Josh Widdicombe as guests.

A more serious, academic take on the issue is provided by this Van Parijs article (which I've shared before) but I think I might use Sean Lock in my lectures.