[EM] Answer and query, 7/12

Anthony Duff anthony_duff at yahoo.com.au
Sat Jul 12 20:28:09 PDT 2003

 --- "John B. Hodges" <jbhodges at usit.net> wrote: > 

> I have a question of my own. 
>"Party List" systems and "Single Transferable Vote"
> systems. 
> My 
> question is this: what is there about these two
> methods that does not 
> satisfy? 

In Australia/NSW, for the upper houses, we use STV,
but these days with the choice of voting a party's
ballot with a single mark.  I essentially described
the choise in my message of Wed, 9 Jul 2003, and
Forest Simmons informs us that I described a "hybrid
Candidate Proxy method" 

Federally, we use the method to elect 6 (usually) or
12 (occassionally) seats with the whole state as on
electorate.  In NSW elections the method is used to
elect 20 (or so) seats, again with the whole state
voting as one electorate.

Typically, recently, there are 100 to 300 names on the

Generally, I think everyone is satisifed with the
method, as such.  I am aware of three loudly voiced
(1)  "It is too hard to rank so many candidates."  
(2)  "There are too many candidates to think about"
(3)  "Those minor parties/independents obstruct the
elected government with power way out of proportion of
the small minority that voted them in"

(1) has been fixed by our "hybrid candidate proxy
The hybrid Candidate Proxy method has been an
important modification because a large percentage of
voters have trouble ranking sequentially to such a
high number.  For example, it was common for a whole
sequence of numbers such as 30-39 to be repeated,
obviously showing the voter has miscounted. 
(2)  is a consequence of every minor party realising
that it has a realisitic non-zero chance of being
elected.  This "problem" has not been solved, but I
don't consider it to be a "fault" of the method of STV
per se.
(3) is the complaint of those who don't like the
consequences of having PR at all, and like (2) is not
a "fault" of the method of STV.


RE: "liberal".  Certainly it is my experience that
Americans use the word with a specific local meaning.
In stark contrast, the "Australian Liberal Party" is
the major right-of-centre party.


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