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Alternative Voting Systems

saggiosaggio Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
So, next Tuesday, May 12th, my home province of British Columbia will be voting in a referendum on whether or not to accept the Single Transferable Vote, or STV over our current voting system, First Past the Post. This is the second time this question has gone to referendum in B.C., the last time it received ~58% support, which was 2% short of the mandated 60% threshold adopted by the government at the time.

D&D, let's discuss the merits of voting systems other than First Past the Post.

Consider some basic facts about some common proportional or semi-proportional voting systems -

STV: A preferential voting system currently used by the Republic of Ireland, Malta, and parts of Australia (notably in the Tasmanian legislature and the Australian Senate). This system relies upon multi-member constituencies (i.e., more than 1 representative), and determines the winner through establishing a threshold, or quota, that each candidate must pass in order to win (this is calculated based on the Droop quota, which is [(total valid votes)/(total seats +1)+1]). Voters mark their preferences on the ballot (with the number of available preferences equal to the number of candidates running). When a candidate's first choice receives more votes than the quota, their vote can be transferred to the remaining candidates to see who gets the other seats. Likewise, if a candidate is eliminated by receiving the least amount of votes in the first round of voting, that voter's second or third preference candidate gets their vote.

The practical upsides to this system include giving some proportionality while retaining local representation. Also, since the ridings are multiseated, candidates from the same party must campaign for themselves as individuals, competing, in essence, against one another, thereby weakening party discipline. In countries like Canada, which has perhaps the highest amount of party discipline in any parliamentary democracy, this can be seen as a benefit quite clearly.

MMP: Mixed-Member Proportionality. This system is currently used in Germany to elect the Bundestag, and was put to a referendum in Ontario in few years ago, and is currently being discussed in Quebec. This blends traditional FPtP voting with a party-list system, so that every person gets two votes. One for their local candidate in their electoral district, and one for the party as a whole across the country. This means that parties that lack strong regional bases of support can do well (such as the Greens in Germany), and that voters can choose a local candidate whom they think represents their interests best, while choosing someone else who they feel represents a broader, national interest.

Closed/Open List Proportional Representation: These are actually two systems, open and closed list PR. In each, a party determines a list of candidates, which it publishes to the electorate, with the names of the candidates ranked according to preference. In closed list, the party alone determines who gets on the list and in what position, while in an open list, there are different options for determining who gets where on which list. Israel uses this system, and has done since 1948. There are no local constituencies, and each representative is elected on an at-large basis.

All of these systems have downsides (MMP, for example, is really opening to gaming, as in Italy and Japan), but do these outweigh their potential benefits, such as proportionality? Would you want to change your current FPtP system to one of the above? Why or why not? Perhaps you'd like to see some other voting system (such as instant run-off)? What kind of effects do you think an alternative voting system would have on the political culture of your country, province, or state?

Discuss.

3DS: 0232-9436-6893
saggio on

Posts

  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I come from New Zealand, where we use MMP, after a referendum process in 1993 or so, with the first election being 1996. We run a three year electoral cycle so as of last October we have had 5 elections under this new system. Prior to this point we ran a Westminster style FPP system.

    We probably would be, at least in some ways, a better comparison to BC than Germany, since we run on the same basis - ex colonial English speaking, Westminster common law blah blah. Anyway, personally I like MMP, I think that it makes us marginally more representative and it hasn't resulted in instability like the nay-sayers thought it might (neither has Germany suffered such problems since the War either for that matter). We were getting into absurd situations were the winning party (by winning I mean holding an absolute majority of seats) could get as low as the mid 30s in terms of vote and still be able to govern. Now, well, they need at least 50% (plus one MP) of the vote to form a governing unit, or they cannot pass legislation, so in my book 50 or so beats mid 30s any day of the week.


    The electoral system basically works like this, from a voter's perspective. At an election you get two votes, one to indicate your preference for your local MP, and one to indicate your preference for a political party. The MP vote works on the same basis as it does in FPP - the person with a simple majority wins the seat. The real difference is in the Party vote - this is where the proportionality of Parliament is decided. This means that people can live in a safe opposition (to them) seat and their vote still directly counts towards calculation of representation.

    So if a party gets 25% of the national Party vote then it is entitled to 25% of the final total of MPs (120 is the base figure, but it fluctuates a little based on a variety of reasons). There is a minimum floor of votes that a party must receive in order to get representation, that is 5%. So if a party gets 4% of the vote they get no MPs in parliament. This is in part designed to stop extremist parties. However, if a party manages to win an electorate (MP) then their Party vote will count towards representation - so a party that gets a MP and say 2.4% of the Party vote would be entitled to two MPs, one Electorate Vote, one Party Vote. If a party gets more Electorate Vote MPs than Party Vote share, then the size of Parliament (number of MPs) will be adjusted to preserve the proportionality of the Party Vote.

    As you can imagine it has taken a bit of time to understand how this works, both from the Voters and the Parties. In this period we have had 3 wins by the Labour (centre-left) coalition and 2 by the National (centre right) coalition. Where a coalition refers to the parties that formally make up the government, or at least those parties or MPs that have undertaken to vote with the government on Confidence and Supply votes. Usually the major party is pretty major, and the minor parties are anything from 1 to a dozen MPs. So we are most definately not talking about a coalition of near equals here.

    However it seems to work, so far at least. The government has been very stable, in a manner similar to pre MMP days. No governments have fallen due to Coalition issues. The core party seems to largely dictate the platform. The minor parties generally get something of what they'd like and get to go their own way on a lot issues. Not a single one of the fears about instability seem to have occurred in the thirteen year reference period.

    The other main complaint seems to be about the "tail wagging the dog". Now I'm not even too sure what this really means, except as a generalised dislike of a major party having to consider what a smaller party wants. It seems to ignore the fact that major parties in NZ have and still are very broad churches with distinct views and ideologies - and that within these parties there are constant fights over the agenda and direction. Now at least we get slightly more say in the matter

    Kalkino on
    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • TrusTrus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I took a class all about electoral systems last semester, it was probably my favourite class that term and made me want to focus my political science degree on electoral reform in Canada, but I digress.

    Countries such as Canada and Britain shouldn't be using single member plurality systems anymore, when the governments of the countries were first forming it made sense to use it, they only had two powerful parties and the idea of a simple majority to win an election made sense. But, as more parties were created and started to gain power the idea that you can win an election (both the federal election as a whole, and each riding) with as little of the vote as ~30% seems wrong.

    Fortunately, its only a matter of time till Canada, at least, changes to a PR system (MMP would be my choice) both Ontario and B.C, two of the more liberal provinces, have had referendums to change their electoral system and B.C is most likely going to actually pass it and change their system which will improve the chance of changing Canada's federal electoral system.

    Trus on
    qFN53.png
  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Mixed Member Proportionality also gives you a great opportunity to vote for the "third party" of your choice (2nd vote/party vote), while not "losing" your voice on local representation (1st vote/candidate vote).

    enc0re on
  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I don't like the constant clamoring for proportional representation - granted, there are several ways to do it, but most are simply inappropriate for a country as a geographically varied as Canada.

    If the system has to change (and I don't necessarily think it does), it should be done gradually. Rather than getting ahead of ourselves, better to just graft a simple instant-runoff to the current system and see how that works first.

    Andrew_Jay on
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    A bit of discussion about Single Transferable Vote has actually been making the rounds of the political blogs today, so either we're all reading the same stuff or there's just something in the zeitgeist.

    Besides the fact the last national figure in the US to suggest this got railroaded and shot down as advocating racial quotas by conservatives, there's is a bit of a problem I see. Doesn't this turn all races for representatives into state level races, making it prohibitively expensive and difficult to get elected to represent rural regions of populated states? Something like this seems like it would almost by default heavily favor focusing on population centers to the exclusion of smaller municipalities or outright rural regions.

    werehippy on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    enc0re wrote: »
    Mixed Member Proportionality also gives you a great opportunity to vote for the "third party" of your choice (2nd vote/party vote), while not "losing" your voice on local representation (1st vote/candidate vote).

    The thing is, who becomes your local Representative? If we were to implement something like that in the States it would essentially make all the Representatives hold state-wide office same as a Senator. If that's the case...who do I go to over relatively local concerns? CN just bought right of way for tracks all around the county. A few Rep's were opposed to the approval by the STB since they represent constituents along the tracks. If all of them represented Cairo to Zion why would any of them really care?

    moniker on
  • TrusTrus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    Mixed Member Proportionality also gives you a great opportunity to vote for the "third party" of your choice (2nd vote/party vote), while not "losing" your voice on local representation (1st vote/candidate vote).

    The thing is, who becomes your local Representative? If we were to implement something like that in the States it would essentially make all the Representatives hold state-wide office same as a Senator. If that's the case...who do I go to over relatively local concerns? CN just bought right of way for tracks all around the county. A few Rep's were opposed to the approval by the STB since they represent constituents along the tracks. If all of them represented Cairo to Zion why would any of them really care?

    The way MMP works you get two votes, one for a local candidate who would be elected using single member plurality/majority, and another vote which you can give to any party that is on the list which is used to determine how many list seats each party gets. Your local representative would be the person elected using the single member plurality.

    Trus on
    qFN53.png
  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Trus wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    Mixed Member Proportionality also gives you a great opportunity to vote for the "third party" of your choice (2nd vote/party vote), while not "losing" your voice on local representation (1st vote/candidate vote).

    The thing is, who becomes your local Representative? If we were to implement something like that in the States it would essentially make all the Representatives hold state-wide office same as a Senator. If that's the case...who do I go to over relatively local concerns? CN just bought right of way for tracks all around the county. A few Rep's were opposed to the approval by the STB since they represent constituents along the tracks. If all of them represented Cairo to Zion why would any of them really care?

    The way MMP works you get two votes, one for a local candidate who would be elected using single member plurality/majority, and another vote which you can give to any party that is on the list which is used to determine how many list seats each party gets. Your local representative would be the person elected using the single member plurality.

    Basically, it's the plurality system we have now. But if a party gets more of the national (2nd vote) % then they get local (1st vote) Representatives in, they get to fill the House with "generic" politicians.

    enc0re on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    werehippy wrote: »
    A bit of discussion about Single Transferable Vote has actually been making the rounds of the political blogs today, so either we're all reading the same stuff or there's just something in the zeitgeist.

    Besides the fact the last national figure in the US to suggest this got railroaded and shot down as advocating racial quotas by conservatives, there's is a bit of a problem I see. Doesn't this turn all races for representatives into state level races, making it prohibitively expensive and difficult to get elected to represent rural regions of populated states? Something like this seems like it would almost by default heavily favor focusing on population centers to the exclusion of smaller municipalities or outright rural regions.

    Rural areas are a lot cheaper to advertise in, so you could easily focus on trying to get the rural vote and leave the urban areas to be split up amongst your competitors and come out ahead. So there'd still be some advocates, but it seems like it'd be more a stratified electorate.

    moniker on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Trus wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    Mixed Member Proportionality also gives you a great opportunity to vote for the "third party" of your choice (2nd vote/party vote), while not "losing" your voice on local representation (1st vote/candidate vote).

    The thing is, who becomes your local Representative? If we were to implement something like that in the States it would essentially make all the Representatives hold state-wide office same as a Senator. If that's the case...who do I go to over relatively local concerns? CN just bought right of way for tracks all around the county. A few Rep's were opposed to the approval by the STB since they represent constituents along the tracks. If all of them represented Cairo to Zion why would any of them really care?

    The way MMP works you get two votes, one for a local candidate who would be elected using single member plurality/majority, and another vote which you can give to any party that is on the list which is used to determine how many list seats each party gets. Your local representative would be the person elected using the single member plurality.

    I'm not seeing how that works out any of the structural issues with the present system as opposed to just layering on another level of potentially fucked-up.

    moniker on
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    enc0re wrote: »
    Trus wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    Mixed Member Proportionality also gives you a great opportunity to vote for the "third party" of your choice (2nd vote/party vote), while not "losing" your voice on local representation (1st vote/candidate vote).

    The thing is, who becomes your local Representative? If we were to implement something like that in the States it would essentially make all the Representatives hold state-wide office same as a Senator. If that's the case...who do I go to over relatively local concerns? CN just bought right of way for tracks all around the county. A few Rep's were opposed to the approval by the STB since they represent constituents along the tracks. If all of them represented Cairo to Zion why would any of them really care?

    The way MMP works you get two votes, one for a local candidate who would be elected using single member plurality/majority, and another vote which you can give to any party that is on the list which is used to determine how many list seats each party gets. Your local representative would be the person elected using the single member plurality.

    Basically, it's the plurality system we have now. But if a party gets more of the national (2nd vote) % then they get local (1st vote) Representatives in, they get to fill the House with "generic" politicians.

    Yah, so every area gets an electorate MP to be the local, who has a local mandate. How it seems to work out in NZ is that the Electorate MP has a higher status than the Party/List/Nationally selected MP, at least amongst the major parties anyway. Most parties seem to assign their P/L/N MPs to a geographic region as well, as a shadow electorate, in order to play to the desire of people to have local MPs..

    I would love that here in the UK. My MP is in a party that (while I don't dislike) isn't one I've voted for in the past, and the party I would like to vote for hasn't a shit show in hell of winning no matter what I do. It just seems so backwards after living in a MMP/PR system

    Kalkino on
    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • TrusTrus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Trus wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    Mixed Member Proportionality also gives you a great opportunity to vote for the "third party" of your choice (2nd vote/party vote), while not "losing" your voice on local representation (1st vote/candidate vote).

    The thing is, who becomes your local Representative? If we were to implement something like that in the States it would essentially make all the Representatives hold state-wide office same as a Senator. If that's the case...who do I go to over relatively local concerns? CN just bought right of way for tracks all around the county. A few Rep's were opposed to the approval by the STB since they represent constituents along the tracks. If all of them represented Cairo to Zion why would any of them really care?

    The way MMP works you get two votes, one for a local candidate who would be elected using single member plurality/majority, and another vote which you can give to any party that is on the list which is used to determine how many list seats each party gets. Your local representative would be the person elected using the single member plurality.

    I'm not seeing how that works out any of the structural issues with the present system as opposed to just layering on another level of potentially fucked-up.

    That reply was just to answer who your local representative would be. What structural issues would you want to fix with the current system?

    Trus on
    qFN53.png
  • TubularLuggageTubularLuggage Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Trus wrote: »
    Countries such as Canada and Britain shouldn't be using single member plurality systems anymore, when the governments of the countries were first forming it made sense to use it, they only had two powerful parties and the idea of a simple majority to win an election made sense. But, as more parties were created and started to gain power the idea that you can win an election (both the federal election as a whole, and each riding) with as little of the vote as ~30% seems wrong.

    The problem with what you're saying is that if a party wins with 30%, they don't get full control of the government. Yes, they're the party in power, but they likely have a minority government, and the parties other people voted for still get a say in how things are done.

    The only real problem with Canada's current electoral system is caused by having one right wing party, compared to three left wing parties splitting the left wing vote. This allows the Conservatives to win districts with a minority of the vote. If we had another right wing party, there wouldn't be any real problem.

    TubularLuggage on
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Just some links on MMP from NZ perspective before I go to bed

    Electoral Commission
    Royal Commission on Electoral Reform (1980s vintage)

    Oh and for a UK related story - anyone from Scotland and care to explain a little about their national parliament's PR system works? Apparently they use Alternative Member, which is not something I'm familiar with, although it seems like a modified MMP system, just with multi member regions instead of single member electorates

    Kalkino on
    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Trus wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Trus wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    Mixed Member Proportionality also gives you a great opportunity to vote for the "third party" of your choice (2nd vote/party vote), while not "losing" your voice on local representation (1st vote/candidate vote).

    The thing is, who becomes your local Representative? If we were to implement something like that in the States it would essentially make all the Representatives hold state-wide office same as a Senator. If that's the case...who do I go to over relatively local concerns? CN just bought right of way for tracks all around the county. A few Rep's were opposed to the approval by the STB since they represent constituents along the tracks. If all of them represented Cairo to Zion why would any of them really care?

    The way MMP works you get two votes, one for a local candidate who would be elected using single member plurality/majority, and another vote which you can give to any party that is on the list which is used to determine how many list seats each party gets. Your local representative would be the person elected using the single member plurality.

    I'm not seeing how that works out any of the structural issues with the present system as opposed to just layering on another level of potentially fucked-up.

    That reply was just to answer who your local representative would be. What structural issues would you want to fix with the current system?

    Gerrymandering, chiefly. Beyond that basically just enfranchisement and keeping constituencies together rather than separated in politically convenient, but senseless ways.

    moniker on
  • Willy-Bob GracchusWilly-Bob Gracchus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    My two cents on STV in Ireland, combined with multi-representative constituencies is that it marrys the representatives far more closely to the interests of their contituencies to the detriment of the national interest. In Ireland, it is particularly excaberated by the relative powerlessness of local government, apparently it's a toss up between us and the French for the most centralised system of government in Europe, and as far as I know the French have been allowing a little power to trickle out form the centre in recent years.

    Basically, I would argue that representatives spend far too much time running around pressing flesh when they should be doing the job that they're paid for, legislating. If you doubt me, check out the coverage of your average Dail session, no more a quarter of the fuckers are on the floor at any one time. They're off kissing babies and cutting the ribbon at the new local liquor store.

    I know that they say all politics is local, but the peculiarly Irish concept of parish pump politics may give you a sense of how it might sometimes get too local. The few genuinely decent honest-to-gawd legislators we've had down the years have almost all struggled to retain their seats because they can't attend as many funerals and socials as some semi-literate, flesh-pressing, ward-boss type.

    There's a bunch of other shit wrong with our system, but cutting the numbers of representatives, empowering local government at the county and city level combined with an effective corruption watchdog (I could give you nightmares with what the fuckers get up to with planning/zoning corruption, one of the few things they have genuine power over), either beefing up the upper house or ditching it all together AND scrapping STV in favour of either MMP or other list-type system would be the big first steps. Of those, the latter would be the one I'd choose if I could only have one.

    This lady puts the case far better than I do - http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0504/1224245892907.html

    But to be honest, I'm of the opinion we'd corrupt just about any system, hell, we're one of the world's biggest exporters of political corruption. Hey there New England/Tammany Hall/South Chicago/West Scotland! Anyhoo, hope this offers something to the debate, it makes a nice change from snarking up the soccer thread.

    Willy-Bob Gracchus on
  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Trus wrote: »
    The way MMP works you get two votes, one for a local candidate who would be elected using single member plurality/majority, and another vote which you can give to any party that is on the list which is used to determine how many list seats each party gets. Your local representative would be the person elected using the single member plurality.
    That system is not so bad, since you still have your local representatives. I prefer the Japanese implementation to that in Germany since the former seems to also allow for a more workable parliament since it's not purely proportional - you'll still get a little over-representation for the winner.

    The drawbacks that I see are that it can either be expensive - adding all of these new representatives - or can reduce representation for rural areas - you shrink the number of members that actually represent territorial units and they must represent larger areas.

    Adding a few of these proportional representation seats to the Canadian House of Commons (say 100, to be elected by region) is about as far as I would go to support PR here.

    Andrew_Jay on
  • SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Andrew_Jay wrote: »
    I don't like the constant clamoring for proportional representation - granted, there are several ways to do it, but most are simply inappropriate for a country as a geographically varied as Canada.

    Perhaps for the country as a whole, but I'd dearly love to see it at the provincial level; the laughably disproportionate split between the popular vote and the results in the provincial legislature here in Alberta are a condemnation of the efficacy of our first-past-the-post ridings.

    With 52% of the popular vote, the tories took an unassailable 87% of the seats in the legislature, 72/83. The liberals took 26% of the popular vote, which gave them 11% of the legislative seats (9).

    Senjutsu on
  • TrusTrus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Trus wrote: »
    Countries such as Canada and Britain shouldn't be using single member plurality systems anymore, when the governments of the countries were first forming it made sense to use it, they only had two powerful parties and the idea of a simple majority to win an election made sense. But, as more parties were created and started to gain power the idea that you can win an election (both the federal election as a whole, and each riding) with as little of the vote as ~30% seems wrong.

    The problem with what you're saying is that if a party wins with 30%, they don't get full control of the government. Yes, they're the party in power, but they likely have a minority government, and the parties other people voted for still get a say in how things are done.

    The only real problem with Canada's current electoral system is caused by having one right wing party, compared to three left wing parties splitting the left wing vote. This allows the Conservatives to win districts with a minority of the vote. If we had another right wing party, there wouldn't be any real problem.

    True, but in the last majority government we had (2000) the Liberals won a majority of the seats with only 40% of the popular vote. Now don't get me wrong 40% is a lot better than 30% but the fact of the matter is that they still totally controlled the government without getting close to 50% of the popular vote.

    There are two glaring problems with our (Canada's) current electoral system; the first is that it is unfair to parties that have widespread national support like the Greens and NDP, and gives too much power to regionally concentrated parties like the Bloc. In the 2008 election the Bloc elected 49 members to the house with 9.98% of the vote, all of these members were elected in Quebec, the NDP on the other hand got 17.48% of the popular vote and only elected 37 representatives. You don't see anything wrong with having a party get less of the popular vote but more seats in the House?

    The other problem our current system has is the very high amount of wasted votes. I live in Alberta and I vote Liberal, the chances of having a Liberal actually elected anywhere in Alberta is pretty much zero which means that my vote is basically useless, this same problem comes up in Ontario but with the parties reversed. This leads to higher levels of voter apathy and a lower voter turnout (look no further than Alberta's recent provincial election where there was less than 50% voter turnout)

    Switching to any sort of PR system pretty much fixes both of these problems.

    Trus on
    qFN53.png
  • TrusTrus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Trus wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Trus wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    Mixed Member Proportionality also gives you a great opportunity to vote for the "third party" of your choice (2nd vote/party vote), while not "losing" your voice on local representation (1st vote/candidate vote).

    The thing is, who becomes your local Representative? If we were to implement something like that in the States it would essentially make all the Representatives hold state-wide office same as a Senator. If that's the case...who do I go to over relatively local concerns? CN just bought right of way for tracks all around the county. A few Rep's were opposed to the approval by the STB since they represent constituents along the tracks. If all of them represented Cairo to Zion why would any of them really care?

    The way MMP works you get two votes, one for a local candidate who would be elected using single member plurality/majority, and another vote which you can give to any party that is on the list which is used to determine how many list seats each party gets. Your local representative would be the person elected using the single member plurality.

    I'm not seeing how that works out any of the structural issues with the present system as opposed to just layering on another level of potentially fucked-up.

    That reply was just to answer who your local representative would be. What structural issues would you want to fix with the current system?

    Gerrymandering, chiefly. Beyond that basically just enfranchisement and keeping constituencies together rather than separated in politically convenient, but senseless ways.

    I don't think you'll be able to fix Gerrymandering by changing the electoral system used, you need judicial oversight and a non political civil service to fix that. I would argue that a switch to a PR system would cause greater enfranchisement though, if a person knows their vote is actually going to accomplish something they are more likely to take the steps necessary to vote. Likewise, if a political party knows that literally every vote counts they are more likely to encourage you to vote or even make it easier to vote, like they did during the last US federal election where they let homeless people give park benches as home addresses.

    edit: Actually, you could get rid of gerrymandering all together if you gave up the idea of regional representation and went with a strict nation wide PR system where you would get the same percentage of the seats in government as the percentage of the national popular vote you got. This would get rid of electoral districts and thus gerrymandering but I don't think doing that is very feasible both practically and politically.

    Trus on
    qFN53.png
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Trus wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Trus wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Trus wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    Mixed Member Proportionality also gives you a great opportunity to vote for the "third party" of your choice (2nd vote/party vote), while not "losing" your voice on local representation (1st vote/candidate vote).

    The thing is, who becomes your local Representative? If we were to implement something like that in the States it would essentially make all the Representatives hold state-wide office same as a Senator. If that's the case...who do I go to over relatively local concerns? CN just bought right of way for tracks all around the county. A few Rep's were opposed to the approval by the STB since they represent constituents along the tracks. If all of them represented Cairo to Zion why would any of them really care?

    The way MMP works you get two votes, one for a local candidate who would be elected using single member plurality/majority, and another vote which you can give to any party that is on the list which is used to determine how many list seats each party gets. Your local representative would be the person elected using the single member plurality.

    I'm not seeing how that works out any of the structural issues with the present system as opposed to just layering on another level of potentially fucked-up.

    That reply was just to answer who your local representative would be. What structural issues would you want to fix with the current system?

    Gerrymandering, chiefly. Beyond that basically just enfranchisement and keeping constituencies together rather than separated in politically convenient, but senseless ways.

    I don't think you'll be able to fix Gerrymandering by changing the electoral system used, you need judicial oversight and a non political civil service to fix that. I would argue that a switch to a PR system would cause greater enfranchisement though, if a person knows their vote is actually going to accomplish something they are more likely to take the steps necessary to vote. Likewise, if a political party knows that literally every vote counts they are more likely to encourage you to vote or even make it easier to vote, like they did during the last US federal election where they let homeless people give park benches as home addresses.

    edit: Actually, you could get rid of gerrymandering all together if you gave up the idea of regional representation and went with a strict nation wide PR system where you would get the same percentage of the seats in government as the percentage of the national popular vote you got. This would get rid of electoral districts and thus gerrymandering but I don't think doing that is very feasible both practically and politically.

    South Africa works on a national PR system, then runs weak local representation in their provincial system

    Kalkino on
    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    That's the thing, you can't gerrymander the Senate. At least, not anymore. So if there were a proportional voting system for the House that was state wide it would basically solve a lot of structural issues with the present setup...it'd just eliminate the actual person representing your locale in favour of the State as a whole. Sure there'd probably be Representatives from places and they'd probably care about Peoria or Effingham or Springfield more than Chicago as a result, but that's not really the same thing and I can easily envision internal strife when various local interests compete with each other. So it fixes a lot of issues while creating a bunch of others.

    moniker on
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