[EM] Craig Layton and Districts within Districts

Blake Cretney bcretney at postmark.net
Thu Nov 9 17:06:03 PST 2000

LAYTON Craig said:

>The problem for BOTH single member electorates and any system that
>voting for a party (list PR, MMP etc) is that the candidates are
>by a party hierarchy, and the voters don't get any say in the matter.

Although, you could have a list primary, where ordinary party members
get to choose which list to use.  I don't know if you would consider
that the "party hierarchy".

>Having medium districts encourages parties to run more women, blacks,

Ethic candidates?  Now there's a visible minority.

> as well as candidates from different factions of the party, with
>different stated opinions, in order to capture as much of the vote as
>possible.  If, for instance, you are basically interested in one issue
>say, the environment, and you vote democrat, because your local member
>democrat is an environmentalist, you may also help to elect a forestry
>industry (unionist) democrat candidate in a neighbouring electorate. 
>kind of party list system is false democracy, because although it
>more proportional, it is less representative of people's views.

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

Of course, you may find that no list represents you perfectly, but in
STV, there will likely be no candidate in your constituency who
represents you perfectly either.  Still less with the lower choices on
your ballot.  Of course, SMP is even worse from this perspective.

Blake Cretney

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