re:[EM] Gerrymandering and PR

Alex Small asmall at
Tue Mar 19 15:34:27 PST 2002

Adam Tarr wrote:

>>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.
>Whether this is necessary really depends on the election method. If the
>election is done using open party list, then voting is very simple no
>matter how many candidates there are.

My concern is not the method.  My concern is that electoral districts be a
reasonable size so that campaign costs aren't unmanagable.  Also, I worry
that if each party's slate is too large the individual candidates will
receive less scrutiny.

As for Forest's comment that PAV is easy for local elections, here in CA
each county counts ballots separately.  If PAV were used for large multi-
member legislative districts, and some of those districts crossed county
lines (a virtual guarantee in CA, given the distribution of population)
vote-counting with PAV would be logistically more tricky (although not
totally unwieldy).

I dislike Adam's idea of linking the elections of the two houses of the
legislature.  If the CA Assembly were elected from single-member districts
but the Senate from multi-member districts, I may support a Green or
Democrat in the Assembly race, due to local environmental issues.  However,
on most (but not all) non-environmental issues my sympathies are with the
Libertarians.  Since the state Senate has powers beyond those of the
Assembly I may have reasons for voting Libertarian in the Senate race and
Democrat in the Assembly race.  Under Adam's system, am I better-off voting
Libertarian in the Assembly race so they'll get some Senate seats, or
voting Democrat in the Assembly race so the Dem will win the local Assembly

As for party-list, I don't understand the "above the line" and "below the
line" distinctions.  My vague understanding is that when all seats are
apportioned according to how many votes a party got (be it state-wide,
district-wide, whatever) in an "open list" system you vote for a party and
also one or more candidates in that party.  Seats go to the most popular
candidates of the party.  In a closed system, it's been decided in advance
that if the party only gets one seat, Bob gets it, and if they get two
seats Jane gets one, and the third goes to Fred, etc.

Am I incorrect?


More information about the Election-Methods mailing list