Liberals study bid to change voting

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 August, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 August, 1997, 12:00am

Ronald Arculli wants to amend the voting method for the election committee to retain the single transferable voting used in the election ballot of September 1995.

The Government proposed in its plans for the first legislature polls that the election committee's 800 members should use block voting to return 10 legislative councillors next year.

This is expected to benefit the business and professional sectors which will dominate the committee.

Critics of the method say it allows large political parties to take advantage of the 'coat-tails' effect, putting together a list of 10 candidates, headed by their best-known, and persuading voters to back all 10.

It is similar to the double-seat, double-vote system used in the 1991 geographical polls, which benefited the United Democrats of Hong Kong.

However, Mr Arculli said that members of the election committee were not required to choose all 10 candidates.

'There is the possibility that some legislators may get elected with very few votes,' he said.

The party has yet to make a final decision on the amendment. Another option is to retain the block voting but to require voters to choose all 10 candidates.

Under single transferable voting, voters are required to choose 10 candidates in order of preference.

Each voter has one vote and this is credited initially to the first choice on the voting paper.

There will normally be surplus first preference votes either for candidates with more votes than needed to ensure election, or from candidates with so few votes as to preclude election. These are then credited to the second choice candidates and so on.