LSC Supports Single Transferable Vote

- Caucus Statement

It is critical for the DSA to adopt a national leadership that fully represents its members. This necessity is magnified by the lack of processes for enforcing accountability between national conventions such as recall, voting on NPC absences, intermediary levels of organization, or member referendums.

We therefore call on members to vote during initial committee business on Sunday, August 1, 2021 at around 3 p.m. ET to support the use of single transferable vote instead of Borda count.

As we advocated before the 2019 DSA National Convention, Single Transferable Vote is far preferable to Borda count for selecting an executive board for an organization because it is not as vulnerable to manipulation and the strategies of small but well-organized political tendencies.

We acknowledge that other members have argued for different options and argued that identifying a fair and proportional system is difficult in that voting systems each have particular strengths and points of weakness as to how clearly they reflect the will of voters. On balance, however, the STV system and other proportional and readily comprehensible systems such as approval voting are superior to other options. As socialist organizations and socialists in proportional representation systems have found, STV works against the complete disenfranchisement of a range of tendencies. For these reasons, it is essential for the survival and strength of a multi-tendency and participatory organization that we embrace a fair voting method as part of a larger project of building membership capacity and preventing disruptive factionalization.

DSA members have also contested whether it would be appropriate to adopt a nationwide requirement of holding votes by STV and raised concerns over, among other things, small and disfavored or entryist factions securing power through proportional votes. This election poses a different and simpler choice than in other circumstances. It is difficult for small factions that manage to be elected to control or even influence the agenda and decision-making unless they reach an understanding with NPC members representing other tendencies. Do we then adopt a fair method that provides for diversity quotas and has resulted in more sustainable and effective decision-making to select between existing national factions in a one-off election for the national executive? Or do we try a method that has had a questionable track record in local DSA chapter delegate and leadership elections and is not suited for the election of an executive board? The evidence in favor of STV or another fair proportional voting method is clear and we urge members to support its adoption in this election for NPC.