14 Feb 2003

American Samoan voting system debated

4:33 pm on 14 February 2003

American Samoa's member of the US Congress, Faleomavega Eni Hunkin, says he does not believe the Instant Run-Off Voting system is the best option when choosing the congressional delegate.

Faleomavaega says utilising the system, as applied in Australia and Ireland, would be a disgrace and a shameful betrayal of democratic ideals.

The Center for Voting and Democracy in Washington DC says the IRV system is a simple method used to select a single winner from a list of two or more candidates.

Lieutenant Governor Togiola Tulafono had suggested the system after Faleomavaega criticised current methods of holding a run-off, if one candidate fails to win 50 percent plus one vote.

Faleomavaega says the only effective way to elect a representative was to either hold a plurality vote or a primary election to select the top two candidates before the general election.