Plurality voting

Plurality voting based approach for voting systems


The proposal with the most votes wins, regardless of whether they achieve a majority.

Example plurality voting systems

  • First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) - The proposal with the most votes wins, even if it doesn’t have a majority.

  • Block Voting - Voters have as many votes as there are positions to be filled. The proposals with the most votes will fill the available positions.

  • Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) - Each voter casts one vote in a multi-option decision. The proposals with the most votes will fill any available positions.

  • Limited Voting - Each voter has fewer votes than the number of positions that need to be filled. The proposals with the most votes fill the available positions. This voting system is also a type of proportional based voting.

Very low binary decision suitability (Score - 1)

The simple execution of these voting approaches with just two voting options and one winner would turn these voting approaches into majority ones. A plurality voting approach is not a suitable match for a simple binary decision. Due to this the time required and voting complexity are not highly relevant to consider.

High single selection decision suitability (Score - 4)

  • Accuracy & expressiveness - For some decisions there could be a large number of potential number based voting options that are relevant to decisions around taxation amount, token supply, inflation rate or lock up periods as some examples. For these decisions there is likely not a right or wrong answer and instead a set of trade offs and preferences. In these situations it could be more difficult to expect a majority based outcome and this can increase the reason to adopt a plurality based voting system. Plurality voting approaches could be effective in situations where the number of options could be large and diversity in voter preferences could be high. Where plurality approaches could be lacking is due to the fact they don’t take into account the intensity of voters preferences. In certain situations a proportional outcome could also be more beneficial than an outright winner using a plurality voting approach.

  • Time required to participate - This approach should take the least amount of time due to the fact that a majority isn’t required for a proposal to win. This means that voters would just select the options they prefer and an outcome could be reached from that single voting round.

  • Voting complexity - These voting approaches would be one of the least complex out of the other approaches as votes are simple yes or no decisions on whether to vote on a proposal. Plurality voting doesn’t require voters to rank or score the available options, voting is very simple with this approach. The complexity also doesn’t greatly increase as the number of voting options increases.

High multiple selection decision suitability (Score - 4)

  • Accuracy & expressiveness - Voters would be able to select any of the proposals that they prefer. Expressiveness would be limited as voters would only be able to indicate the proposals they support but not the intensity in which they prefer them.

  • Time required to participate - Voters would just need to select the options they prefer and would not need to rank and understand every proposal to participate in the decision.

  • Voting complexity - The complexity would only linearly grow as the number of options increases. Voters would not be required to review every proposal. Voters would only need to read and understand the proposals that they want to review and when they have the capacity to do so.

Total score = 9 / 15

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