[EM] Vote Management

Olli Salmi olli.salmi at uusikaupunki.fi
Sun Apr 13 11:26:03 PDT 2003

At 11:18 -0700 11.4.2003, Alex Small wrote:
>Second, I use the term "party" rather loosely.  It could mean a group of
>politicians seeking to maximize the number of people elected from their
>little circle, or it could mean a group of voters with common interests
>trying to maximize the number of candidates representing their interests.
>In a candidate-based system like STV, those voters might cut across
>nominal party lines.
>For instance, there are groups in the US that encourage female candidates
>of any party to run for office, believing that their interests will be
>advanced by the presence of women in elected office, irrespective of
>partisan label.  We might analyze a PR system to see how people concerned
>with electing women could maximize their representation, just as we could
>analyze it to see how it affects people concerned with electing Democrats,
>Republicans, environmentalists, civil libertarians, pro-war politicians,

I read years ago that closed list PR is best in giving representation 
to women, judging by its performance I think. Here are the Swedish 

With open lists we have at present 37,5% women in Parliament in 
Finland (and the President and the next Prime Minister and the 
previous Speaker). Women have had the vote since 1906. Since 1995 
we've had a law (copied from Norway I understand; unnecessary I 
think) that the minority sex must have 40% of the seats in each local 
government committee. In the Helsinki area there was a case where the 
Greens had to find a suitable man to stand for the executive 

Committee elections are usually uncontested because it's easy to 
calculate the result in a politically organized council. I don't know 
if they've figured out how to ensure minority sex representation with 
list elections. It ought to be easy anyway. When all the seats 
allowed for the majority sex are filled, the candidates of that sex 
aren't acceptable candidates any more. You'd have to ensure that the 
lists contain enough names of both sexes.

I would expect that the Swiss-type open list elections are good for 
electing women, because the voter has as many votes as there are 
seats. You would just strike out or replace all the candidates of the 
wrong sex.

Here's some statistics from Switzerland and Zurich. A PDF file.
9 (abbreviated)

Jahre in %
1971  8,6
1975 14,3
1979 14,3
1983 17,1
1987  20,0
1991  25,7
1995 41,2

Women are underrepresented on the candidate lists. Only 34.4 percent 
of the candidates were women in 1995.

In 1995 there 28.9% women in the Zurich cantonal assembly (table 8). 
In the recent election women got 4 seats in the 7 member cantonal 
executive. The election was a majority election, but the parties 
don't contest all seats.

Olli Salmi

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