[EM] D'Hondt without lists

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Fri Aug 16 15:36:26 PDT 2002

> Olli Salmi wrote:
> I've been trying to find a way how the d'Hondt rule could be used for PR
> without party lists in meetings. I know of two such methods. One is the way
> we sometimes use in Finland. The first candidate on the ballot paper
> receives one vote, the second half a vote, the third  a third of a vote,
> etc. The votes are added up for each candidate and the ones with the most
> votes are elected.

Why not simply use standard STV-PR?  (Choice Voting in USA).

If you have a council of, say, 20 members who are to elect a committee of, say, five from among those 20, STV-PR would seem the most
appropriate.  It will work when the party members choose to organise slates of candidates and vote "the party ticket" and it will
work equally well when there are no slates and when the members vote for the candidates as individuals.  That is because STV-PR,
unlike all other systems of PR, treats all candidates as individuals and does not rely on the existence of pre-existing parties or
other recognised groups.

Where parties exist and where the electors vote along party lines, PR of the parties will be achieved with STV-PR.  But that is an
outcome - it is not the objective of STV-PR.  With STV the "PR" is about the wishes of the voters, not about the parties or groups.
Unfortunately this important distinction in the meaning of "PR" is usually ignored.  "PR" is commonly used to mean only "PR of
registered political parties".  But Proportional Representation can be, and should be, about much, much more than just PR of
political parties.


There may be some confusion about Colin Rosenstiel's "STV" method to produce ordered lists.  This is a special application of the
STV counting procedure to do something that is quite different from electing a representative committee from within a council.
Colin's method is used ONLY to order a party list for those elections that are run using a party list PR system.  (Party List PR is
a very restrictive system of PR and it is tragedy we use it at all in the UK!!)

It is a two-stage process.  Consider the requirement for an ordered party list of ten candidates when 20 party members offer
themselves for selection.  First, the most representative ten are elected by conventional STV-PR from among the 20.  Second, Colin's
procedure is then applied to those ten to determine the order for the list.  This is not relevant to the election of a committee.

James Gilmour

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