[EM] Reply from Dan of Illinois

Michael A. Schoenfield maschoen at execpc.com
Sat Nov 14 08:30:49 PST 1998

I'm sorry, but maybe I did not get some initial information necessary to
understand this conversation. What is cumlative voting as opposed to SNTV
(?) and or limited voting? What are all of these and how do they relate to
us in the USA? Thanks

Michael S.

Michael Schoenfield
Michael A. Schoenfield & Associates, Ltd.
2637 Mason Street
Madison, WI 53705-3709

(608) 238-6121 Voice
(608) 233-2507 Fax
maschoen at execpc.com E-Mail
----- Original Message -----
From: New Democracy <donald at mich.com>
To: <election-methods-list at eskimo.com>
Sent: Saturday, November 14, 1998 1:51 AM
Subject: [EM] Reply from Dan of Illinois

>  - - - - - - - - - - Forwarded Letter - - - - - - - - - - -
>From: "Dan Johnson-Weinberger" <proportionalrepresentation at email.msn.com>
>To: donald at mich.com
>Subject: Re: Drive to revive Cumulative Voting in Illinois
>Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 11:15:05 -0600
>I thought I'd share our strategy in Illinois with the lists, in case anyone
>is interested.
>[Donald] >One: I suggest that you go for an election method a bit better
>>              than Cumulative Voting.
>We tried that a few years ago with a local referendum and a university
>student government referendum, and they failed. We went for STV (single
>transferable vote), and invariably, people did not grasp how the ballots
>were counted. Almost all politically active people wanted to know how the
>system worked, and just telling them '1,2,3' did not appease them
>(justifiably so). When people took the time (about 15 minutes) to grasp the
>elegance and the beauty of STV at work, then they were big fans. But, most
>people did not take that time. So, we've decided to stick with what we
>and push for cumulative voting.
>>     Two: I suggest that you have your districts contain an even number of
>>seats, four instead of three.
>I think that's a poor idea for two reasons. One, districts will then end up
>with a 2-2 tie, which makes voters uncomfortable. I think people would like
>to see a winner in their area, and a local split seems (perhaps
>justificably) like a recipe for gridlock. Another problem is that the House
>will end up with an even number of legislators, which is (in my opinion) a
>timebomb waiting for a tie vote. One of the good things about our
>is that is reduces the size of the House from 118 to 117 so that we end up
>with an odd number.
>>     The people of Illinois are already knowledgeable about Cumulative
>>Voting. From that stepping stone you can easily sell them on a better
>>method. Limited Voting is a better method, but I would suggest Single
>>Non-Transferrable Vote(SNTV).
>If only it were so easy! The people of Illinois that remember cumulative
>voting (and are passionate about reviving it) are a minority of the voters.
>No one under 40 remembers it, and those older people who do remember
>cumulative voting tend to be a little set in their ways. Plus, there is
>something very powerful about a campaign that can hark to the past -- it
>isn't an odd, foreign, academic idea pushed by some novices -- this is a
>tried-and-true system used for 110 years. That sort of rhetoric helps a
>great deal.
>I never thought of SNTV or limited voting as superior to cumulative voting,
>but maybe they are. I imagine you like them more because it is easier for
>the voter. But what about the majority party? Under cumulative voting, they
>can split their votes between the two majority party candidates. Not so
>under SNTV or limited voting.
>How would you respond to that?
>Thanks for your input Don -- if others feel like talking about this, I'm
>certainly open to it as well (though the decision in Illinois has been
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