[EM] Districts within Districts

LAYTON Craig Craig.LAYTON at add.nsw.gov.au
Thu Nov 9 17:40:07 PST 2000

Blake said:

>Ethic candidates?  Now there's a visible minority.

Yes, we need candiadates who are more ethical, don't you agree?

>However, I think there is good reason to believe that under PR, you
>wouldn't just have two parties to choose from.  Most people's opinions
>are internally consistent enough that they can be represented fairly
>well by one of a few parties.  Parties have good reason to keep their
>candidates consistent enough in views that people know what they're

The situation in single winner systems is thus: Major parties weight their
policies towards the invisible centre, with the knowledge that they will get
all, or most of the votes to the left of that centre (democrats) or the
right (republicans) and aim to get the small percentage of voters in the the
middle in order to win.  If there are candidates from the same party
competing against one another, they must campain for loyal democrat voters
as well as the swinging voters.  This ensures that they actually represent
everybody, not a handful of voters in the centre of the political spectrum.
With both parties in the centre, there is no voter choice.

There are two solutions to this.  The first is to bring in full PR with low
quotas, to encourage a full multi-party system where no party ever has a
majority, and the government is made up of fragile coalitions, with minor
parties holding the balance of power.  The other is to bring in district STV
with no party lists, to force the major parties to be more representative,
and allowing the larger minority parties to get representation and hold the
balance of power where support for the major paries wane.  I do support the
latter, but I see some advantage to the former also (which seems to be what
you and Donald support).

But again, I re-iterate that a proxy system is much better than any 1
representative = 1 vote system.  Proxy systems are more representative than
list PR, even in medium districts (which become required to prevent
individual representatives from having too much power).


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