Let us say people in a certain institution are given the choice to select one of four alternatives. While alternative 1 is to reject a certain policy, alternatives 2,3 and 4 are in favor of putting a certain policy into effect, with alternative 4 being the most extreme, alternative 3 the middle and alternative 2 the conservative way of implementing the policy. How could a fair and appropriate electoral system look like, if there can be only one ballot?
If everyone were given just one choice and the alternative with the highest number of votes were to win, chances are that alternative 1 would win and the policy would be rejected, even if the majority of people are in in favor of the policy, since votes will be divided among the three other alternatives.
If everyone were given the choice to rank all four policies according to his or her preferences and the alternative with the highest average rank were to win, it seems likely that alternatives 2,3 (the middle choices) would win.
How could an appropriate compromise look like?