[EM] BC & PR

Steve Barney barnes992001 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 26 15:28:40 PST 2002


I just read a very interesting little book (or booklet) which makes a plausible
case that the election of Hitler and Mussolini was due to the proportional
representation system then used in Germany and Italy (Hermens, F. A.,
_Democracy and Proportional Representation_, University of Chicago Press,
1940). I guess that they used a party-list method based on a plurality of the
votes, but I don't know for sure. This little book is causing me to have second
thoughts of the desirability of PR, or at least some systems of PR. 

The author defends the plurality vote and "majority vote" (he may be referring
to the old 2 stage plurality/pairwise vote) against PR, but I am inclined
towards the sort of compromise between proportionality and majority which is
offered by the Borda Count. The BC is not always proportional, but it is under
certain, arguably the most appropriate, conditions, as when 2 blocs of voters
are completely polarized and vote the reverse of each other. For example, if,
as in some voting rights court cases based on racism, the preference order of
virtually all the black voters is the reverse of virtually all of the white
voters, the blacks may elect someone with the same proportion as is required by
the Hare method. If there as two seats and four candidates, for example, a
minority bloc (such as voters who prefer A>B>C) may elect its most preferred
candidate with just over 1/3 of the electorate, even though the majority bloc
may prefer the reverse, C>B>A. Do you know what I mean? Is anyone here
knowledgeable about, or familiar with any writings on, the proportionality of
the BC? I will be most grateful for any helpful input.

Thank you,

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Movies - coverage of the 74th Academy Awards®

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list