[EM] James Green-Armytage wrote on July 13

Donald Davison donald at mich.com
Wed Jul 23 00:32:02 PDT 2003

Greetings list,

James Green-Armytage wrote:                  (on July 13)
    "In general I am not very sympathetic with the desire on the part of some
people to keep smaller parties out of government. Actually, I find it a
little shocking how commonly this sentiment is expressed in discussions of
PR, as it seems pretty anti-democratic to me. Having a government
dominated by a few well-connected heavy hitter parties, with entry barred
by a steep threshold (be it a formal threshold or an effective threshold)
hardly sounds good to me."

Dear Green-Armytage,

Donald here, you are of course correct, except I would express my dislike a
`little' stronger.  I find the practice of artifical thresholds to be very
shocking and very anti-democratic.

My position is that if a small party gains one quota of votes then that
party is entitled to its one seat just as larger parties are entitled to
all the seats they have quotas for, and if this small party only gains a
number of votes less than one quota then that number of votes is to be
regarded as a remainder and allowed to compete with all the remainders from
all the other parties and if this small party's remainder is large enough
to win one of the remaining seats then it is entitled to that seat.

All the voters are entitled to their fair share of representation.


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