Comments: General Synod: elections

Care to translate for Americans as to what is a Single Transferable Vote and how the Stages apply? We definitely speak a different language in these matters!

Posted by Davis d'Ambly at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 9:26pm BST

Single transferable vote (STV) is a preferential voting system. STV initially allocates an individual's vote to their most preferred candidate, and then subsequently transfers unneeded or unused votes after candidates are either elected or eliminated, according to the voter's stated preferences. In political terms it is a system that supports proportional representation, as opposed to the first past the post system that operates in US elections and indeed UK parliamentary elections. With a slate of candidates for an election (say 10), each elector rank orders their votes and marks the candidates from 1 to 10. The first preference votes for each candidate are counted and the candidate with the least drops out and his/her second preference votes are then allocated to the remaining candidates, stage by stage. A candidate is elected when he/she has enough of the total votes (the computer works how many are needed!!), which might be at stage one or at any later stage. Useful??

Posted by Anthony Archer at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 10:29pm BST

The Single Transferable Vote system (STV) is simple for the voter, but rather complicated for the person who has to count the votes.

Voters put the candidates in order of preference. For the laity vote for the CNC there were 12 candidates for three places, so voters number the candidates 1, 2, 3, ... There is no requirement to continue all the way to 12 if a voter does not want to.

To be elected a candidate must reach a quota of votes equal to number of valid ballot papers divided by (number of places + 1).

First preference votes are counted. If any candidate has more than the quota he/she is elected. This is stage one.

At subsequent stages one of two things happens.

If a candidate has been elected they will have had more votes than their quota. This surplus is redistributed in proportion to the next preferences on the ballot papers.

If no candidate has been elected the person at the bottom of the poll is eliminated and all their votes redistributed.

At each stage a candidate is elected once they reach the quota.

There is an example of a count on the website of the Electoral Reform Society

http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/votingsystems/stvmodel.htm

and a general article on STV

http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/votingsystems/systems3.htm#STV

Posted by Peter Owen at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 10:30pm BST

Peter mentions that there were 12 lay candidates for 3 places for the CNC.
There were 8 candidates for the 3 clergy places.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 10:49pm BST

Credit where credit is due. Nice to see PR used in CofE!

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 11:17pm BST

FWIW, a proportional vote can be counted via computer program, which is how we do it in the Diocese of Massachusetts. Ballots are keyed in with a simple data entry program, and the program does all the heavy lifting of calculating the results. An election with three contests and a bit over 400 ballots usually takes a couple or three hours to count, with a group of 9 committee members and volunteers.

Joan Rasch

Posted by Joan R at Thursday, 9 August 2007 at 3:57am BST

Thanks all. Most helpful!

Posted by Davis d'Ambly at Thursday, 9 August 2007 at 2:46pm BST

So what does this all mean? I recognise a conservative from Durham and a liberal from Southwark. Are the various factions fairly represented?

Posted by David H at Friday, 10 August 2007 at 12:24pm BST

It looks somewhat polarised to me.

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 10 August 2007 at 2:59pm BST

All this may look very different in a year's time.....especially if we have AC (with Covenant) and TEC Global with some in the CofE going to TEC Global

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 14 August 2007 at 12:11pm BST

"TEC Global"

Why do you never call the Anglican Church CofE Global? Seems to me TEC is in a very similar position WRT the worldwide Anglican Church as the C of E was 500 years ago WRT the Western Church.

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 14 August 2007 at 1:13pm BST

I talk of "TEC Global" bceause I see it as the new liberal "church" that will emerge out of the Anglican split that appears to be coming.....the CofE will remain part of the AC which is more than the CofE ( which is a small part of a global communion!)

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 14 August 2007 at 5:36pm BST

"the CofE will remain part of the AC "

My point, NP, is that 500 years ago, the CofE WAS the AC. It was a small group of bishops who were attached in varying degrees to the new trendy rebellious ideas coming out of places like Geneva, ideas that contradicted everything the Church had stood for for 1500 years. England was weak, it's king was the son of usuper, and the Church backed up his plans to divorce, quite unjustly, his legal wife, then turned a blind eye while he proceded to murder or divorce several others, all the while condemning commoners who would do the same. His kingdom was one of the weakest in Europe, his throne made less secure by his rebellion against the religion of the superpowers of his day, and his daughter in her turn had a Papal "fatwa" put out against her. Not exactly a strong position, and divorce and judicial murder are hardly good Christian principles to base a Church on. So, were TEC to "walk apart" now, how would she ve different from the CofE of Henry's day?

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 15 August 2007 at 12:36pm BST

Ford - completely agree, the CofE was born in shame....but I think it was redeemed by its greats eg Cranmer and brought back to the bible...it became much more than Henry's vehicle for a divorce....but it has always been compromised, sadly, by its relationships with states and kings etc

I have no problem with TEC or the GS walking away if they have to do so in all good conscience....I have a problem with those who would force us all into further fudges and false unity for the sake of appearing to maintain an institution......I have a problem with "Griswoldian" language which says yes to both sides of an argument and mistakes its eolquence for truth.

I said months ago that I would respect people who reject Lambeth 1.10 if they set up a church based on their ideas but I cannot respect or be associated with people who sign up to a church and then just ignore certain taching....it is a matter of integrity.

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 15 August 2007 at 3:43pm BST

Far more likely is Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) - or Nigerial Global by its actions and intentions. Or maybe Sydney Global, or Walkers Off Global. Once again, all this requires a reversal of intentions (on all sides now). This prophecy is at least as good as yours NP, until the outcome is actually known, for which it will take, yet, meetings, replies, reactions, all over the shop.

Repeating something over and over again does not make it happen.

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 15 August 2007 at 3:50pm BST

Pluralist....you are still in denial....my predictions are based on the ACTIONS of the liberal ABC

I have evidence for where I think we ar going(TWR, Dromantine, Tanzania, Covenant)....what evidence do you have that the ABC is suddenly going to let the AC spllit for the sake of VGR?

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 15 August 2007 at 4:12pm BST

"brought back to the bible"

NP,
I respect that you are to all intents and purposes a fundamentalist (with no negative connotation intended in my use of that word). Can you not respect that there is a tradition that does not put all authority in Scripture? I make no claims as to whether that tradition is right or wrong, or whether it can err (and your position can also lead to error, NP), merely that it exists, and some of us believe it. Second, can you not also try to understand that your continual insistence on Biblical "proof" for one position or another carries about as much weight with people like me as our appeals to Tradition carry to you? We do not disrespect or ignore Scripture just because we do not give it the level of authority you do. It's not about agreement, NP, it's about respect, humility, and similar basic Christian values.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 15 August 2007 at 4:33pm BST

I am at a loss to understand how the General Synod elections reported above will look different in a year's time. NP said:
"if we have AC (with Covenant) and TEC Global with some in the CofE going to TEC Global"

How is it possible for "some in the CofE" to go anywhere else?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Wednesday, 15 August 2007 at 4:58pm BST

Let's put it like this. The Archbishop of Canterbury is concerned that the split will lose the contact between different cultures of the Western and developing worlds. However, he may rest assured that not every province in the developing world is going to walk off now - the hardcore is not quite so large as thought and not quite so uniform. It could include the Archbishop of Sydney and under him. On the other hand, to stop them walking he has to exclude TEC, and almost certainly Canada as well, with a huge loss of finance, and then will see a rupture with Scotland, Wales (home sweet home), New Zealand, South Africa... Is the Archbishop going to DO that in order to stop OTHERS walking? Is he going to cut out the moderate, defining heart of Anglicanism when those that leave represent a hardcore?

No. Those that walk must walk, if they will. And they say they will. No. He will try to use this Covenant scheme and other devices to try to keep as many on board as possible. However the rhetoric is such from all around that those who walk will walk, and those who talk will stay.

And he wants people to talk.

Once again, once again, NP, for the Archbishop to do what you say requires a reversal of policy so far from everything that has been set up.

Imagine. Imagine him standing up to various audiences and saying: The Episcopal Church stated that they had several difficulties and their polity, but wished to engage with the process. However, because four provinces and one diocese said they would leave, *I* took the decision to exclude TEC and, sorry about moves in Canada... Yes I was bullied.

Not very likely is it? His resignation would be pretty swift then, because he had the invitations to them, they met his requirements, and yet these were reversed simply because a group met somewhere else and said, "We're off?"

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 15 August 2007 at 9:41pm BST

I suggest, NP, that you are the one in denial.

Akinola and his minions have planned their exit from the Anglican Communion for some years, and now they are executing their plan.

Enjoy the Akinolist Communion, NP. But don't expect to take your parish property with you.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Thursday, 16 August 2007 at 7:28am BST

Ford - I accept your points....but as you know, I think it is an error to give so much authority to current tradition that some want to ignore scripture.

Pluralist talks of "the moderate, defining heart of Anglicanism"......you mean TEC et al??? Surely not. TWR is more representative of the views of moderate Anglicans...is it not?

Simon-why is it impossible for some who might like the Covenant and greater discipline in the CofE to join a new TEC-led church?

Malcolm - how many times....I ain't so worried about property because thousands of Anglicans in our churches in London give generously....we do not depend on dead people's money to give us buildings and income for our gospel work.

Pluralist / Malcolm.....you assert I am in denial but we can all see what the liberal ABC and Primates have actually DONE in the last few years...I am going by their actions (not my wishful thinking). Suffice it to say I am very happy with TWR and I was actually surprised at how strong and clear the Tanzania Communique was......so I am confident we will see a continuation of the ABC's logic in forthcoming decisions as he seeks to achieve unity in the AC and prevent the decimation of the CofE

Posted by NP at Thursday, 16 August 2007 at 9:26am BST

NP

For CofE people to do that (without moving to the USA) the Episcopal Church would have to set up congregations etc. in England. Why do you think that is likely?

And my main point was that members of CofE parishes choosing to decamp from the CofE are quite unable to take any church property with them, no matter what their reasons for leaving or the strength of their numbers.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 16 August 2007 at 11:45am BST

I think it is possible for the Church of England to become somethng like a shell, with moneys being diverted and old rules habitually broken, and bishops trying to impose tendencies (sometimes to seculre money) and not a little competition. It is a kind of nightmare scenario. Before it gets there one phenomenon might be a limited number of large congregations buying a hall and putting themselves under a Nigerian consecrated bishop or three, leaving some rump parishes to be redeveloped by the Church of England. These, then, would be outside the Church of England, whatever Anlgicanism they would be identified with.

As it happens there are a range of small groups up and down the country with distinctive liberal tendencies that have been set up in recent times. I have been asked by Sea of Faith Yorkshire to give a paper on why these groups tend to stay separate and not get together - from a sociological perspective. This will be in September in Bradford.

Interestingly at the church discussion in Barton on Tuesday an interesting point was made that there are some people in the local Churches Together ecumenical group that seem to go to no churches at all (rather a denial of the title - but not unusual in the researches of sociology of religion), and have formed almost a separate gathering in terms of some participants. I find this very interesting and might try to find out more as to why. I can't ask Mynsterpreost as he is on his hols.

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 16 August 2007 at 12:47pm BST

Simon...not so worried about property - healthy churches can always buy more and do not rely on dead people's money to survive or thrive.

Also, I was talking about TEC leading some sort of "TEC Global" allinace of liberal churches - which would be open to people in England too....although, they must not think they can take their property, right?
THe reasons I think TEC may do something like that:
-TEC's name change, removing its specific US link;
- TEC's show at GC06 of many countries' flags showing their global presence;
- TEC's spending on building international links....eg nice little holidays in Spain for "conversations" between Africans and Americans;
-TEC's continuing rejection of the requests of the AC Primates....I know they think they can swing staying in the AC even if they do not abide by any membership rules they do not like...but I think the AC is sick of and so TEC may be forced to go it alone...and TEC has inherited the cash to go global so they will.

Posted by NP at Thursday, 16 August 2007 at 12:48pm BST

"I think it is an error to give so much authority to current tradition that some want to ignore scripture."

We agree! That is, unless you can actually use "current tradition" to refer to something 2000 years old. Your definition of "current" is as odd as your definition of "low Church". But then, you seem to define "ignore Scripture" to mean "doesn't believe the way I do".

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 16 August 2007 at 1:06pm BST

Ford...I have stayed all these years in the CofE because I can tolerate difference......I have the greatest respect for my high church Bishop of London and also for you!

-so, given I can tolerate difference, something must have changed and that something was a small minority in the AC trying to force us all over the world to accept a change in what is required of clergy which we have not agreed to make.

Now, I know you are not a militant rights campaigner and also do not think TEC should have behaved as it did.....but my point is that people like me get accused of intolerance when actually we have been very tolerant and it is TEC which abused that tolerance, despite the begging of the Primates, in 2003.......but please aknowledge the long-standing tolerance of evos in the CofE / AC

Posted by NP at Friday, 17 August 2007 at 10:39am BST

It is always amusing to read NP's misplaced optimism.

Of course, the Episcopal Church removed the USA from its name because it has for more than a century had provinces and dioceses that were outwith the United States.

But what the Episcopal Church has never removed was the reference to communion with Canterbury.

That was your pals as part of their well thought out plan to decamp if their coup d'eglise was unsuccessful.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Sunday, 19 August 2007 at 2:31am BST

Malcolm...you are amused by my "optimism".....so, before Tanzania, you were expecting a communque similar to the one we got from the ABC and the other Primates???

I am optimistic - based on TWR and the Tanzania Communique, the ABC and the Primates do not seem minded to let one province unilaterally change an AC position.....

Bore of this cycle:
NP - look at what the ABC has DONE in the last few years eg in Tanzania;
Malcolm - you are dreaming NP;
NP - but, Malcolm... look at what the ABC has actually DONE;
Malcolm - you are dreaming and it is does not mean anyting anyway.....;
NP - but... look at what the ABC has DONE;
Malcolm - ah...but he is about to do the opposite now because.....well, he just is....

Posted by NP at Monday, 20 August 2007 at 10:43am BST

"tolerance of evos in the CofE / AC"

Tolerance of what? I mean really, tolerance of someone in another parish doing things you don't like? Tolerance of a bishop on the other side of the planet who believes and teaches things you think are wrong? Well, welcome to my world! I think the bishop of Sydbey is a heretic and I really don't know if I could receive communion in one of his churches. But I really don't want to split the Church over it, he's on the other side of the planet. Besides, I could be wrong about him, I am not blessed with the assurance of rightness you have, I guess that's the price I pay for not being a legalist like you, and I suspect that is the reason you ARE so legalistic, you really can't tolerate the feeling you might be wrong. Still, I don't really understand how, if I can put up with +Jensen, you can't put up with +VGR. Or do you think the things I say about Evangelicals is just so much academics?

Posted by Ford Elms at Monday, 20 August 2007 at 12:02pm BST

Ford - you really need to get this straight: I am not saying that I am right!

You are a man who respects church tradition and order....you should not really be objecting to me saying that I want to stick to the agreed positions of the Anglican church....these agreements between our Primates raise issues re VGR, do they not?

Forget about your anger vs evos.....I know you think TEC acted inappropriately in 2003 - but you then think the rest of us in the AC should have to accept their fait accompli even though most of us disagree with what they did and how they did it??

Sorry, if we have to accept fait accomplis from Provinces, we are set for many problems ahead....that model of changing "the mind of the Communion" is a recipe for chaos - I expect you would agree.

So, it is not about NP being right.....as I have said, the questions which matter relate to whether or what TEC did was right or wrong. AS it stands, TEC broke ranks with the AC on a particular issue, as you know. If they were wrong and the AC sticks by its agreed position, we do not have to accept TEC's unilateral actions - why should we given they have persuaded so few that they are right?

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 21 August 2007 at 12:47pm BST

"these agreements between our Primates raise issues re VGR, do they not?"

It's hardly that clear. Underlying agendas, complex politics, and influence by outside lobby groups, these things might be there in TEC's actions, but they are definitely there, prominently, in the actions of the "reasserters". I know you can't see this. Too bad. Your naivety is your problem.

"you then think the rest of us in the AC should have to accept their fait accompli"

Why not? Answer the question, I see no reason to split the Church over Peter Akinola, though I see far less evidence of Christian behaviour in him than I do in +VGR. It fascinates me that you seem to think exactly the opposite. Unlike you, I do not see this as evidence that you do not read or believe the Scriptures, yet I have to wonder how you can see Peter Akinola as a good advertisement for Christianity. Not saying I am.

"we do not have to accept TEC's unilateral actions"

It's not about the Gospel, it's about punishing the uppity Yanks, and ignoring any unChristian behaviour in anyone who supports you.

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 21 August 2007 at 3:01pm BST
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