Sunday, November 15, 2009

There is no contest. Ukraine is just throwing money away.

Eighteen candidates have been registered for Ukraine's next Presidential election scheduled for January 17, 2010.

 Sixteen out of the eighteen candidates will lose in the first ballot.

Whilst the election fuels the pages of the news and this blog the fact is there is no real contest.  

Baring a miracle, an act of god or assignation (god forbid) or unexpected withdrawal of candidates the final presidential race will be between Viktor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko.

Under Ukraine's two round first past the post presidential voting system the only real contest in the first round of voting is between second and third place.

According to all the opinion polls the third placed candidate, Arseniy Yatseniuk, who is on 7.5%, is more then 10% behind the second place candidate Yulia Tymoshenko with 18% support.

Given this is the case then the question must be asked, "Why go to the expense of holding a second round when the same result can be achieved in one single round of voting?"

Ukraine should adopt a single round preferential voting system and ask voters to rank candidates in order of preference so that when the votes are counted they can decide who is elected in one round of voting and at half the cost required to hold two rounds.