We have completed the 2010 Primary Election, but there is still some doubt as to who won. This problem is caused by our current method of determining the winner of an election. In Pennsylvania, we now use a plurality system for deciding who wins.
This means a candidate may be able to win an election without earning the vote of at least a majority of the voters. For example, in the Primary Election for a Democratic Party candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, there were four candidates. On May 18, one candidate was declared "the winner" with only forty-five percent of the votes. A majority of the voters cast their ballot against "the winner."
In many other countries, including Australian and Ireland, this never could have happened because their "winners" must have at least fifty percent of the vote. Those countries use a system called Instant Runoff Voting, in which each voter ranks their top three candidates for each elected position. If none of the candidates earns a majority (50%) in the first round, the candidate with the least votes is removed from the ballot and their votes are awarded to the candidate chosen as second by the individual voter.
This process continues until a candidate has earned a majority of votes.
Perhaps we should look at another election, which just concluded with even more disastrous results. the Primary Election for a Democratic Party candidate in State House Seat 194, which includes Roxborough, Manayunk, Wynnefield Heights, West Parkside and parts of Wynnefield and East Falls in Philadelphia, and Lower Merion, Belmont Hills, Bala Cynwyd, Merion and part of Merion Station in Montgomery County.