Common Good Finance
the revoLution with a bank

wherever you are
here's why

Common Good Democracy™ - Multiple Choice Vote

Example Ballot

Where will our third branch be?
 OPTIONS Good Bad     Veto 
 #1 Greenfield A+   A B C D E   NO!
 #2 Amherst A+   A B C D E   NO!
 #3 Cummington A+   A B C D E   NO!

A multiple choice vote will be used for single-winner issues, such as choosing a new board member for the bank or deciding in which town the next new branch will be located. The ethical motivation for the Common Good Bank method is that at each step it honors the preferences of as many voters as possible.

To count the votes, only the preferences are counted. This is the Condorcet voting method. When all the votes have been cast, each (direct) voter's preferences are multiplied by the number of people the voter represents, before counting the votes. The actual letter grade a voter gave to an option is ignored. If more people prefer option X to option Y than prefer Y to X, then X beats Y. When all the pairs are examined, the winning option will usually be clear.

Unless of course there is a circle of preferences. If every option is beaten by at least one other option -- for example, if voters prefer X to Y, Y to Z, and Z to X -- an additional step is required.

A circle of preferences does not necessarily mean that the voters are crazy. For example, if there are three voters and three options -- X, Y, and Z -- then there will be a circle if the voters order their preferences, quite reasonably, as follows:

  • voter #1: X Y Z
  • voter #2: Y Z X
  • voter #3: Z X Y

Circles can usually be resolved by the Tideman method, favoring larger majorities over smaller ones, in the pairwise comparisons. For example, if X is overwhelmingly favored over Y, more so than Y over Z or Z over X, then X wins. For an illustrated example of the Tideman/Condorcet ("Ranked Pairs") method in action, see this site.

In the unlikely event that two or more pairwise victories tie for the win, then the number of vetoes and finally the actual letter grades given to each option will be used to break the tie.