Politics in the Animal Kingdom: Single Transferable Vote


Queen Lion is looking to make the elections
in her animal kingdom more fair. Currently she divides her citizens into ranges each
of which selects one representative to go to the jungle council which makes laws for
the kingdom. But her citizens are unhappy, and it’s easy
to see why: the council is full of monkeys. Of course some of her citizens are monkeys,
but not all of them. This council doesn’t fairly represent her kingdom. Queen lion visits one of the ranges to find
out what’s wrong and how to fix it. In this range there five monkeys, four tigers,
three owls, two lynx and one buffalo. One of each runs for representative and all citizens
vote for their own species. The election rule is that the candidate with
the most votes wins, which is the monkey. But it’s a pretty unsatisfying result considering
that 2/3rds of citizens in this range *aren’t* monkeys and wouldn’t vote for monkeys. This is the same across all the ranges of
the kingdom, the monkeys have more votes than anybody else, so they win all the elections,
even though they are a minority of the total population. Closer inspection reveals that
the independent advisors hired to draw the range boundaries in the first place weren’t
as independent as they first appeared. The result is unhappy citizens who don’t trust
the jungle council to make the fairest laws for all, quite rightly. Now Queen lion wants to maximize the number
of citizens happy with the election results. One way to do that is to abolish the ranges
and use a proportional system… …But her citizens *want* local representatives. So Queen lion needs a system that both make
her citizens happier by having a more representative council while keeping local elections in place. After doing a little research she finds out
how: Single Transferable Vote. The big change with STV is that ranges send
more than one representative, which may seem weird, but queen lion decides to test it out:
she takes three ranges which used to each send one representative and combines them
into one bigger range that will send three. On election day citizens go to the polls and
the results in this new range are just the same as they were in the old ranges: 34% for
Monkey, 33% for Owl and 33% for Lynx. But this isn’t most votes wins: with STV to
figure out the winners take the total votes and divide by the number of representatives
needed, in this case 3 which gives 33% as the amount a candidates needs to win. So *all three* candidates go to the council
— which accurately represents the citizens in the range. Whereas under the old system each range would
have sent a monkey. Leaving 2/3rd of the citizens without representation. A bigger range with
more representatives allows the range to be more proportional. This test turned out well, but it was also
as simple as could be — now Queen Lion wants to see what happens in a race where not everyone
is a winner. The next big range she tests has five candidates
running for office: Gorilla, Tasier, Monkey, Tiger, and Lynx, three of which can be representatives. Election day comes and goes, and here are
the results of citizens first choices: Tasier gets 5%
Gorilla gets 28% Monkey gets 33%
Tiger gets 21% Lynx gets 13% As before, a candidate needs 33% to win. Monkey
has that as so is immediately selected as one of the three representatives. But no one else reached the winning 33% so
how are the other two representatives selected? Step one: get rid of the biggest loser. Sorry
tasier — you really had no chance at all. Now, when the citizens voted, they could have
just put an X next to the candidate they liked most but with STV they can also rank their
favorite candidates. This is important because it shows how the election would have turned
out if one of the candidates hadn’t run. Tiny and Worried Tasiers would have voted
for the big calm gorilla without tasier in the race. So if their candidate can’t win,
they want their votes to go to Gorilla instead. This pushes gorilla up to 33% and he become
the next representative. Ranking allows citizens to support their favorite
candidate without worry — there’s no point in strategizing about how everyone else is
going to vote. The system works to maximize voter happiness with the result. Back to the range: there’s still one representative
to select, so the next biggest loser is Lynx. His voters don’t like simians, but they do
think tiger’s interests are similar to theirs and so if Lynx can’t win they want him to
have their votes. Tiger gets reaches 33% and becomes the third and final representative. The election result looks pretty good especially
considering citizens first *and* second choices. Now more citizens have a local representative
they can feel comfortable approaching, whereas using the old system, everybody gets a monkey. Lastly queen lion wants know what happens
in a range with just two political parties. Under the most-votes-wins systems, multiple
candidates from the same party would be a disaster: they’d split their voters and hand
the win to their opposition. Queen lion makes one last test range with
2/3rd tigers and 1/3 gorillas that as before, needs three representatives. Because with STV citizens rank their candidates
there can be more than one candidate running at the same time without any problems. The tigers run two candidates as do the gorillas. White tiger becomes the first representative,
but what happens next? While tiger seems to be the biggest loser, it’s also obvious that
he would have gotten way more votes if white tiger wasn’t in the race. If a candidate has
more votes than they need, like white tiger does, the first step is to give the extra
votes to their second choice. This gets tiger to 33% and he becomes the next representative. If that seems strange, there are two things
to consider: 1) If instead the extra votes were ignored,
and tiger eliminated then the gorillas would get the remaining two wins, which would obviously
not be represent the range. 2) Ignoring these ‘extra’ votes is punishing
citizens who backed the popular candidate, which makes voters start thinking about how
everyone else will vote, rather than what they really want. If a candidate gets extra
votes in the first place it also means that those who voted for him are a big section
of the population and thus fairly should get more representation. Right: after the extra votes go to tiger,
the election finishes as before: Silverback came in last, is eliminated and his voters’
second choice is the younger candidate so gorilla gets in. And the results are fair. Queen Lion has now seen STV work. Whether
a range has one party or lots the process is still the same: 1. Citizens rank their favorite candidates.
2. Any candidate above the threshold wins immediately,
3. ‘Extra’ votes go to their next choice. 4. If no winner, last place is eliminated,
and the votes to go their next choice. 5. Repeat until all the winners are found. This whole this process is designed to maximize
the number of citizens who are happy with the result. This process gives STV has many advantages
over the old, most-votes-wins system: 1. Citizens can honestly vote for their favorite
candidate without worrying about what everyone else is going to do.
2. It’s more proportional. So monkeying with the borders matters less.
3. Almost all citizens will have a local representative they actually voted for. In the end Queen lion decides to switch the
council’s elections to Single Transferable Vote to make a better jungle council for all.

100 thoughts on “Politics in the Animal Kingdom: Single Transferable Vote

  1. I don't understand why you eliminate the person who got the lowest vote. That person could be leading in 2nd place votes by a wide margin.

  2. But what would happen if their choice wasn’t the second gorilla but that tiger that only got 1 percent? Maybe I’m missing something but it seems like there are ways to not have 3 people get 33 percent if things happen in an odd way. Or like if someone got 100 percent of the vote somehow.

  3. So the question I don't see anyone asking, unless I missed it, is what if the first 33% for white tiger had their second choice as gorilla? And the "extra" voters voted for the other tiger how do you determine who would get the "extra" votes? Is it the votes that came in second or the majority of the second place votes from all voters because at least theoretically they could be different?

  4. How would this work for one-winner elections such as US President?

  5. Wow. For those who don't realize, he is calling for further division between the races. Anyone with an IQ above double digits would see that further dividing people by races is a terrible idea.

  6. How does this compare to Mixed-Member Proportional in terms of actual representation?

  7. If too many people vote for white tiger then how do we know all of the votes would have gone to the other tiger.

    How do you decide which second place votes should be counted and which should not?

  8. In France, the élections are in two rounds, the second one being between the two major winners of the first one ( exept if a candidate gets more than 50% of the votes in the first round )Why a system that simple couldn't work properly on the other side of the channel ?
    PS : vote for roosters !

  9. Can you do an animal Communist one-party republic? An animal nazi Reich? An animal technocracy?

  10. how do you decide which votes are the extra votes because not all voters will have the same second choice. this would give the people who decide which votes count as extra allot of power to swing the election results.

  11. At 4:47 how do you decide whose votes are extra, and therefore who's second choice is used? Surely not everyone who voted for White Tiger chose the same candidate as their second choice. I am not saying that STV is not a better system, I am just curious about some of the nuances.

  12. How does one decide who's second choice is picked when a candidate gets more votes than the threshold? Take the tiger and gorilla example. Suppose half the White Tiger voters had the silverback as their second choice instead of the other tiger. How do you decide which votes go where?

  13. Are you sure there's no strategic voting in STV? I'm pretty sure the outcome often depends on the order in which minor parties got eliminated.

    Suppose the Tarsier party is everyone's second choice, except for the 5% who rank it first. It gets eliminated before any other party, so we never find this out.

    But now Serval, Ocelot, and Jaguar join the race. Serval and Ocelot each pull 5% from Lynx. You might expect the remaining Lynx voters to like the new small felids better than Tarsier, but I'm making up the example, so they dislike Johnny-come-lately politicians. They stick with Tarsier as their second choice. The erstwhile Lynx voters who switched to Ocelot and Serval still prefer Lynx over Tarsier. That hasn't changed. But Lynx just got eliminated, and they still prefer Tarsier over the big animals. So their votes go to Tarsier, who then has 18%. Jaguar, meanwhile, pulled 14% from Tiger, whose remaining 7% also dislike parvenu candidates. Tiger is eliminated next, and the remaining Tiger voters follow the Lynx voters over to Tarsier's column of the tally sheet. With no Tiger party to fall back on, the Jaguar voters follow suit. That puts Tarsier over the threshold. We have a new winner. If the Jaguar/Tiger voters had just voted strategically, ranking Tiger ahead of Jaguar, they could have had Tiger elected instead of Tarsier.

    Any mistakes, or have I shown that STV can still have an incentive for strategic voting?

    That's a modification of the first, example where the top winner was exactly at the threshold. I'm pretty sure the transfer of votes can also create an incentive for strategic voting. Suppose the candidates are Anaconda, Bat, Coyote, and Dove. In a winner-take-all district, Bat is the runaway favorite, with 75% of the vote. In an STV district, though, we have to look at the second-choice preferences of the Bat voters. It turns out that 51% want to elect a mammal, and secondarily want a candidate who can fly. Meanwhile the other 24% really wanted a dragon, but they prioritize having a flying representative over having a serpent. If they rank Bat first (while the other voters continue to mark their ballots according to their true preferences), the excess votes will mostly go to Coyote. Instead, the 24% who wanted a dragon can strategically vote for Anaconda as their top choice, and have their second representative at least be a large serpent, albeit a flightless one.

  14. The scary thing is, nobody's vote matters and voting doesn't change anything. But still interesting video 😂

  15. So at 5:42 how is it determined which votes carry over into their second choice?
    Say half of the people who voted for white tiger had purple tiger as their second choice, and the other half of the white tiger voters had green ape as their second choice. It would matter which votes get carried over into their second choice, so how is it determined which votes carry over?

  16. Why not have a separate election for each species so one representative from each species

  17. The issue with transferring the extra white tiger votes is that you're counting votes twice. And if each area is supposed to pick three representatives, then doesn't it make sense to have three elections? This system makes no sense under the conditions provided.

  18. In the example where the white tiger wins extra votes what would determine who’s votes are extra.

  19. This would just ensure that there is never a real minority/majority in congress and even less would get done. Lmfao.

  20. So, the taxpayers are now stuck paying the salary of three politicians instead of one? Yay!

  21. If the White Tiger got a surplus of 32%, which 32% votes out of 65% should be distributed then? How would we determine? RNG?

  22. So, here's a question: let's say 99 out of 100 people voted white tiger, but 50 of them voted gorilla for their second choice and 49 voted for normal tiger. Which votes end up counting as "extra?" Depending on which votes are counted as "used," you could end up with a tiger or a gorilla for the second representative.

  23. How would you determine which votes the white tiger received are superfluous? Since those ballots then decide which of the other candidates receives additional votes. Unless you assume 100% party loyalty.

  24. Not a clue about what this is but I don’t really care. I just saw a tiddy in the thumbnail but it turned out to be a thumbnail.

  25. I can't believe the the tigers voted for Shoshon the Elegant, I guess the brown tigers were the 1%.

  26. This system is super broken. Why not mention monotonicity or surplus handling?

  27. Well of course there would be more monkeys as representative, they all can write without dropping or breaking the pen.

  28. qweęëēėèéêrtyÿuūüùûúiįīìïîíoºõōøœòöôópaãåāªàáâäæsßdfghjklzxcčçćvbnñm

    Every uncapitalized character on my keyboard.

  29. there is no way to do voting in a way that is logistically doable where there is nobody that is disenfranchised. Its baked into the cake with representative democracy.

  30. For the record, it appears that the state of Maine adopted the single transferable vote model (called "ranked-choice voting" in their legislation) in 2018 and will be using it for the presidential election in 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/maine-to-allow-ranked-votes-in-general-presidential-election/2019/09/06/4bbbfc00-d0ef-11e9-a620-0a91656d7db6_story.html?noredirect=on

  31. In the situation what would happen if the "eliminated loser"'s votes already went to a winner, pushing them above 33%

  32. Giving the remaining votes from the white tiger to the other tiger imposes a problem. What if not everyone who voted for white tiger had the other tiger as his/her second option? How do you decide which votes are transferred and which aren't

  33. 5:45 the problem for real life use is that politicians in the same party often have extremely differing view points to the other. Example: Gabbard, AOC. Bernie, everyone else. Obama, Trump. Theresa May, Boris Johnson.

  34. What crap you institutionalize racism. We have been doing this for years and we have less democracy then ever before. Everyone in a real election is a human being and you think they are animals. CGP beleives people are animals and seeks to get †hem fighting.

  35. STV is just Alternative Vote with extra steps. Why not just have alternative vote in the local ranges? What's the point in combining some of them if the animals in this video want to keep local ranges?

  36. The problem here is that the votes of a eliminated candidate do not have to go necessarily to a candidate that has not made the threshold. So in the example the votes of the Linx can go to the monkey therefore there are just 2 who make the 33%

  37. what if the white tiger voters who you counted first had picked a second option of purple tiger but the ones you counted after they crossed the threshold all backed White Gorilla.

  38. This is massively old hat, but in the case of the two tigers, how do you decide which of the 65% that White Tiger got are the 'extra' ones and have their second choice counted?

    Imagine White Tiger voters are split between Tiger and Silverback as their second choice (say, 32% to 33%), how do you handle that? Take the excess and separate it proportionally to the total?

  39. Quick question: In the White Tiger scenario, how do you decide which citizens' votes are the 'extra' ones? Realistically, not all of White Tiger voters would have the same second choice, so which votes you're counting matters.

    The solution I can think of would be to add partial votes of everyone's second choice. 32/65 of White Tiger's votes are extra, so every White Tiger voter's second choice gets 32/65 (about half) of a vote.

    What would actually happen though?

  40. But how do they decide which extra votes get transferred? What if the first 33% (that got counted) mainly supported a different candidate to the next x%?

  41. Boy, you idiots at CGP Grey are so anti "First Past The Post" system! Without the FPTP, government would be more chaotic and malfunctioning as hell. 😠

  42. How does the transfer of extra votes work? Say that they won by 50%, and of the 50% 25% wanted one guy as their secondary, 10 wanted another and 15 wanted a third guy. which votes get redistributed?

  43. So how do they decide the order in which the overflow votes go in because that has to make a difference right?

  44. I know this was released three years ago. But who of the voters from white tiger are chosen to have their extra votes given away?

  45. How do you determine who the extra vote is? Is it just the person who voted last, or randomly selected? Because if I voted white tiger then old silverback, but someone else voted white tiger then other tiger, then it's harder to easily transfer the vote.

  46. Big problem: if people can't understand their own democratic process, they'll argue it is unfair, no matter evidence to the contrary. Making the democratic system more complex reduces the number of people that actually understands it. While I understood what this video explained, how many people would in a large scale (like the entire population of a country).

  47. But how do you choose which votes change from white tiger to purple tiger? What if some voters for white tiger wanted white gorilla as their second choice? Do they just get no say?

  48. At 6:48 i saw a mythical rabbit with deer antlers

  49. It seems to me like there would be a big problem in a real application of the "extra votes" rule. How do you select which extra votes to count? (What if the animals that voted for white tiger didn't choose it for being a tiger but instead because it is white… then the rest of the votes would go to white gorilla). The point being, you could handpick the extra votes to favour a specific candidate.

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