List PR

Forest Simmons fsimmons at
Thu Jun 14 14:47:10 PDT 2001

On Thu, 14 Jun 2001 DEMOREP1 at wrote in part:

> However without variable voting there are some obvious problems with small 
> sized legislative bodies as to which party gets the fractional seats.
> I note again that the Method of Equal Proportions is currently used to 
> apportion U.S.A. Representative seats among the U.S.A. States based on their 
> Census populations.
> With computers in widespread use, I fail to see why variable voting cannot be 
> used in ALL public legislative bodies (to get *accurate* results).

In this regard it should also be noted that someone's "voting power"
defined to be the probability that their vote will be pivotal, varies from
state to state, and that contrary to popular opinion, the Electoral
College system that converts states into voting blocs favors the voters in
large states more than in small states.

This is because even though the smaller states have super proportional
representation, in many cases it is not enough to compensate for the added
voting power that comes from being a member of a large bloc. 

A hypothetical example will make this abundantly clear.  Suppose that
Transfersylvania has three provinces P1, P2, and P3, with respective
populations of 1 million, 2 million, and 9 million voting citizens.

Suppose that in the Electoral College each province gets a member for each
million of its citizens plus two extra, like the system used in the U.S.A.

So the numbers of electoral votes for the respective provinces are 3, 4,
and 11.

This gives the smallest province one sixth of the electoral vote even
though it has only one twelfth of the country's population.

The largest province gets only 61 percent of the electoral vote, even
though it represents 75 percent of the people.

However, the magnanimous citizens in this large province are perfectly
willing to keep the Electoral College system.


Because 61% is a majority.

The citizens of the small provinces have super proportional
representation, but zero voting power. 

Similarly the voting bloc feature of list methods gives an advantage to
the large blocs that is not compensated for by ordinary variable vote
calculations, which pretend to be fine tuning, even though in reality the
coarse tuning has not yet been done. 


More information about the Election-Methods mailing list