[EM] List PR

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Thu Jun 14 13:57:26 PDT 2001

Here's a (long winded) response to the last paragraph in Craig's great
posting below:

Suppose that there are ten seats in a chamber to be filled by open list PR
election, and that five parties P1, P2, ... P5 have lists of candidates on
the ballot. 

Suppose that P5 gets only four percent of the vote. Then their share of
the ten seats is roughly .04*10, less than half a seat, so I assume that
this party gets no seat.

Suppose further, that there are a million (10^6) voters, and that the top
candidate on the P5 list got the entire vote for that list (40 thousand
votes), and no other candidate on any other list got more than a few
hundred votes. 

Under Craig's rules this would be extremely unlikely since voters are
allowed to approve as many candidates as they like.  It would mean that
most voters voted for a list rather than for candidates on the list,
except in the case of P5.

So this example makes me lean towards saying that "above line voting" 
should either be prohibited entirely or else it should be construed as
approving each and every candidate on the party's list.

Either of these two modifications would forestall the (somewhat
embarrassing) situation brought up by my example. 

The more I think about Craig's idea, the more I like it.


On Thu, 14 Jun 2001, LAYTON Craig wrote:

> I've been thinking about ways to improve list proportional representation.
> I generally like STV for public elections, but it has a number of drawbacks,
> and is not always viable.
> List PR is very simple, and using a d'Hondt count will result in better
> proportionality than any other method (aside from methods with variable
> voting power).  The problem is always the method of deciding which
> candidates from each party get elected.
> This is my first thought - it is a free list method, where voters can mark a
> single box corresponding to a single party.  A regular d'Hondt count is used
> to determine how many seats each party is awarded.  However, voters have the
> option of voting "below the line" for candidates, rather than parties.  A
> voter can vote for as many candidates as they like.  A voter's vote is
> divided amoung the parties proportional to the number of candidates they
> vote for in each party.  ie If a voter votes for 2 candidates in party A, 1
> candidate in party B & 1 candidate in party C, party A gets .5 of a vote,
> and parties B & C .25 each.  These fractional amounts are added to the above
> the line (whole) votes to determine how many seats each party gets.  Seats
> are then awarded to the candidates in each party with the most below the
> line votes.
> So, parties are elected based on plurality/cumulative type voting, and
> individual candidates using what basically amounts to approval.
> It might even be better to avoid the above the line voting totally, and only
> have voting for candidates, but I've not yet decided on that.  Thoughts?

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