[EM] PR/STV Hybrid for multi-winner?

Adam Tarr atarr at purdue.edu
Thu Jan 31 13:28:29 PST 2002

>This, if I understand you right, is the system in use in senate elections
>in Australia. 95% of the voters follow party recommendations

This is interesting, but it differs from my proposal in that you cannot mix 
the above-the-line and below-the-line votes.  One can either vote for the 
established party list, or a hand made list, in Australia (as I understand 
it).  If someone wants to vote a slightly modified version of the list, or 
just put one independent in the midst of the list, they are forced to 
generate an entire new list; more trouble than 95% of voters are willing to 
go to, apparently.

>It's much the same in Malta (http://www.maltadata.com) even though you 
>have no possibility to vote "above the line" there.

Right, that's just straight STV.  It's a good system, but the 
proportionality breaks down as the number of seats per district 
falls.  This is why it doesn't work great in Malta.  Of course, it becomes 
impractical (from the voter's perspective) to use straight STV in an 
election that has a large number of candidates, as the Australian senate 
example illustrates.  Hence, my proposal to streamline STV voting by 
allowing voters to freely mix the parties and individual candidates freely.

>You might as well have open list PR, which is much easier to implement.

I agree it is very simple and quite good.  I would be happy with it.  I 
think an STV system that allows mixing of party lists and individual 
candidates would be more complicated, but would allow for a better 
expression of voter preferences.

I consider the Open List/STV multi-winner debate to be analogous to the 
Approval/Condorcet debate in single-winner elections.  Condorcet may be 
better, but Approval is a lot simpler and you could get it implemented more 


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