[EM] Gerrymandering and PR
asmall at physics.ucsb.edu
Tue Mar 19 11:32:34 PST 2002
Joe Weinstein wrote:
>Short of forcing everyone into a single district, with resulting
>guaranteed huge campaign costs for small parties or obscure candidacies,
>it's NOT necessarily easier to maximize overall geographic fitness
>or 'utility' of an apportionment scheme by using PR.
>By the way, usual PR presumes that voters want to be proportionally
>represented ONLY according to political party, not other criteria,
>including geographic proximity.
Good point about geographical concerns. In a bicameral state legislature
it would be reasonable to elect one house by PR and the other with single-
member districts. We can debate which house of the legislature should be
elected by PR, but I think the basic idea is reasonable. Also, I think PR
should stick to districts of 5 or 6 members, rather than operating state-
wide, to keep the district sizes half-way reasonable.
>Also by the way, we would get much better 'PR' using PAV applied to
>individual candidates, not parties.
I agree that PAV would provide excellent proportionality while keeping the
scrutiny on individual candidates. However, as I understand it, PAV
requires keeping 2^n tallies when there are n candidates. In CA there are
normally 7 parties on the ballot. If we had 5-member districts that could
lead to 35 candidates, or 2^35 = 34 billion tallies. The Florida fiasco
shows that ballot counting matters, and should be a criterion when
evaluating election methods of an sort.
(IF I MISUNDERSTAND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PAV KINDLY CORRECT ME AND I WILL
WITHDRAW MY CRITICISM.)
To keep the counting simple while keeping the scrutiny on individuals, I am
intrigued by Cumulative Voting. STV, with n! tallies, is clearly out of
the question. Some party list systems may also have potential.
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