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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 53

Other Methods of the Second Class

Other Methods of the Second Class.

Before passing on to the methods of the third class, it may be stated that each of the methods described under that heading may be conducted on the system of the second class. In order to do so, instead of using a preferential voting paper, as in the methods of the third class, we must suppose a fresh appeal made to the electors after each scrutiny. This, of course, would make the methods needlessly complex, and, in the case of a large number of electors, totally impracticable. This, however, is not the only objection to the methods of the second class. For if the electors be allowed to vote again after the result of one of the preliminary elections is known, information is given which may induce an elector to transfer his allegiance from a candidate he has been supporting to another candidate whom he finds has more chance of success. A method which permits, and which even encourages, electors to change their views in the middle of the contest cannot be considered perfect. This objection does not apply to those cases in which there are only three candidates, or to any case in which all but two candidates are rejected at the first preliminary election, as in the French system.

There is another objection, however, which applies to all cases alike; it is that, at the first preliminary election, an astute elector may vote, not according to his real views, but may, taking advantage of the fact that there is to be a second election, vote for some inferior candidate in order to get rid, at the first election, of a formidable competitor of the candidate he wishes to win. If this practice be adopted by a few of the supporters of each of the more formidable page 10 competitors, the result will frequently be the return of an inferior man.

On account of these objections, I consider it unnecessary to enter into any further details as to the methods of the second class.