[EM] Re: your PR model - built back discussion

Stephane Rouillon stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca
Wed Jul 23 14:52:52 PDT 2003

Chris Benham a écrit :

> Stephane,
>        I glad you didn't take offence. What is MMP and SPPA ?
     No offense taken. I am realistic enough to know that my proposals
     have more chances being implemented after my life esperance...
     Still, it is no reason to abandon their merits and not confront
     with other ideas.

     MMP stands for Mixed Membered Proportional. Its first
     is the German electoral model. At the end of world war II, allied
had to
     chose a new electoral system for Germany. British and Americans
     FPTP, French and Russians list PR. So the allied came to a
     proposal: MMP. Voters vote twice, once for their FPTP district,
once for
     a party (that might be different than their local favourite's
party). Half of the
     chamber if filled according to FPTP results.  Party lists are use
to compensate
     for discrepancies between popular support and the actual seat
     MMP is very attractive at first glance because it possesse
advantages of
     both systems. However, it has both systems disadvantages too.
     There is a topic about MMP under voting systems on fair vote
Canada's site.
     You will find my main reproaches there too...

     SPPA is the french acronym for my model. It means a Scrutin
     Proportionnel et Acirconscriptif. You might translate "a
preferential, proportional
     electoral system without circumscriptions".

> Stephane Rouillon wrote:
>          Hello Chris,
>          your comments prove that you have tried to understand all aspects of
>          my proposal. I do agree that it is over-engineered for usual people,
>          however the result is very far from a monstruosity.
>          It may be hard to understand, but it works very well...
>          As a proof, I can give you the result of the simulations
>          done with FPTP, MMP, STV and SPPA during
>          the electors convention hold in Montreal, november 10th 2002.
>          FTPT and SPPA results differ by only one elected MP,
>          STV and MMP appear very unstable (MMP even gives
>          victory to a different party than the 3 other models).
>          So beware of surface analysis and go see beyond in depth
>          how the candidates, the electorate and medias would adapt
>          their behavior to the new model... (I join a summary of results,
>          please ask questions about what you cannot understand)
>          Again you only consider winners when you say
>          "A strange planet you come from, where
>          voters worry about their MPs doing "too much" for their electorates! ".
>          What about what happens is loosing circumscriptions actually...
       CB: Yes that had occurred to me, but I don't think that is what
you said. I favour STV PR with
       districts electing 7 to 15 MPs, but in sparsely populated areas a
district electing as few as 3  might be
       tolerable if a big majority of  the electors in those areas
prefer/demand it. One little device I thought of
       to improve overall proportionality and to encourage a high
turnout is to set the number of candidates to
       be elected in each district after the voting is completed, and to
award seats to the districts in proportion
       to the votes actually cast in each.

>      A nice idea right in the way of letting the people select their own electoral system, or at least
>      some characteristics of it. You could try to get it to the BC commission.
>      I think it is a good one.
       I think you have grossly over-reacted  to  what is 99% a
single-seat district problem. I don't see that it
       matters that the MPs are parochial and push for whats best for
their geographical area, because I can't see
       why that necessarily leads to an unfair result. Why can't their
efforts just cancel each other out?

>      First, because some MPs are in power, others not. Second you are right, it is more a matter of efficiency. You
>      are rigth to say their efforts just cancel each other out. Governments lose
>      time and money in these fights. IMHO, I evaluate to twice faster the time to make a legislature, if representatives
>      where not linked to specific interests and to 20% the budget savings from tolerated corruption, waste, delays
>      and projects cancelled.  Because representative need to be free to suit needs to their best knowledge without
>      always having to care about exceptions for every opinion group.
       With  all the
       districts electing large numbers of  members by PR, all the major
parties should have the possibilty of  losing
       or winning
       a seat in each district, so therfore there should be the same
incentive to offer "bribes" in every district.

>      If you agree with me, why argue. You understand why I prefer SPPA to STV: SPPA is single-membered.
>      Districts size of STV cannot solve at the same time the representaion problem and the crowded ballot issue.
>      However, I still think STV is the best actually used electoral model through the world.
>          Severing any geographical link between MP's and the electorate
>          would not stop people from having one representative at the parliament
>          to answer their problems on a personal basis. It would only remove
>          a corruptible component that makes legislators more budget lobbyists.
       CB:Who would that be? I understood that the "virtual ridings" are
reshuffled for every new election, that not
       "riding" returns a seat, and that the MPs don't even know who
their constituents are.

>      A politician does not need to know if you could vote for him/her to relay your needs to the parliament. Actually
>      many voters use the services of Mp's from a neighbour district because
>      they lost their election. They feel better represented by someone with the same ideas than by someone from their
>      district. In Quebec, and I suppose in many governments, there was regional ministers, assigned as a default
>      representative after the election. Mp's could too be given
>      regions according to their preferences like pilots choose their flight trips in the civil aviation.
>      You can even get MP's compete to better serve the population and not get locked
>      with only one interlocutor.
       I see nothing wrong with
       geographical districts so that the MP knows that this citizen
might have voted for him/her and if the MPs
       his/her seat, this citizen and/or his/her neighbours/family might
(or might not) vote for the MP in the next

>      It maybe because you have no idea of how localization of governments spendings are done. Among several
>      geographical district based problems, let me name some: Gerrymandering? Dealing for votes? Safe districts
>      preserved for friends of the party leaders while women and ethnies (or any internal competitor) are often offered
>      with suicidal districts? Districts are know to favour or disfavour specific political parties, you are lucky if it is not
>      the
>      case in your world...
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