[EM] A preferential, totally proportional electoral system
Elisabeth Varin/Stephane Rouillon
stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca
Sat Mar 23 16:38:40 PST 2002
I am a Ph. D. student in Applied Math from Quebec.
I have followed most of your last discussions
I have built an alternative of my own,
trying to gather most advantages I have seen from other
The only problem is it is described in french actually.
I have not yet finished translating it but I made an english abstract.
As you will discover some aspects are quite new and others
were already proposed by some of you a long time ago
(for example, the enhanced preferential ballot, by DEMOREP1, message
#5 of your archives)
I will add 2 mails with some arguments extracted from discussions
that happened over the fairvote canadian list...
I hope it helps understanding how I proceed.
Please feel free to comment.
For more details (or if you can read french), just ask.
A Preferential, Totally Proportional Electoral System Without
Note: It works well with circonscriptions too.
Abstract. This electoral system offers numerous advantages:
Each elector needs to go to his or her polling station only once to
Votes in support of a specific policy cannot be diluted by the fact
that several candidates are running to defend that policy.
An elector can cast a blank ballot to protest against all the proposed
candidates. This result is interpreted differently from the result
produced by absent voters or individuals who are unfit to vote.
Computerization makes it possible to maintain the current timeframe
for the release of results. Retention of the hardcopy prevents fraud.
A multitude of candidates can run for office, including independent
candidates. Hence many different ideas can be confronted in
accordance with democratic principles.
Allowing voters to rally to the support of a candidate gives an
opportunity to regroup to both the party in power and the opposition.
Despite the large number of candidates, it is quite likely that the
parliament will only include a few parties.
The "crutch" option ensures a majority government for a reduced term,
instead of a shaky coalition.
Each seat represents an equal portion of the population, to within one
The Direction Générale des Élections, or its equivalent outside
Québec, does not have to redefine the boundaries of electoral
divisions between elections, a process both costly and debatable.
Each elected official represents a disseminated sample of the
population, which encourages him or her to defend common interests.
Therefore, ministers have no political interest in favouring any
specific group when deciding on the location of a plant, an airport, a
hospital or a museum for example. This system subjects the
country/province/municipality to the same rules to a greater extent
than it promotes exceptions by region.
It is very unlikely that a candidate would be attributed the same
electors as in a previous election. In this way, a party leader or a
minister is not always elected by the same voters.
The model generally attributes one elected official per seat, which
means voters continue to feel represented by "their" candidate.
This model's proportional representation is optimal. The error between
votes cast and seat distribution is minimized. Using this seat
distribution for the parties, the number of votes collected by elected
officials is then maximized.
Stéphane Rouillon, B.Ing., M.Sc.A.,
Département de Mathématiques Appliquées,
École Polytechnique de Montréal (GÉRAD),
stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca
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