[EM] 7/14/03 - Single-Seat Method in a Multi-Seat Method:

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Mon Jul 14 15:00:02 PDT 2003

Donald Davison wrote (in part):
> 7/14/03 - Single-Seat Method in a Multi-Seat Method:
> Greetings Michael and James,
> Michael you wrote:
> >and can be used for multi- winner elections (just take the
> >top N candidates in the ranking rather than just the top one).
> And James you wrote:
> Maybe it CAN be used for this purpose, but it never should be.  No
> single-seat winner system should ever be used to elect the top N
> candidates.  The result will be distorted, except by chance.
> Donald here:  "Never say Never"
> A Single-Seat Method can be used as a major part of a 
> Multi-Seat Method.
> The best known example of this is STV.  Irving is a major 
> part of STV, a
> combination of ranked ballots, surplus ballots policy, and Irving.

This is just a pointless play on words.

PR elections are PR elections and single-seat elections are single seat
elections.  There are qualitative differences between these two types of
election, even though there may be some similarities in some of the
voting systems used, eg preferential, transferable voting in both IRV
and STV-PR.  But there the similarity ends.

We have previously debated the merits of Donald's method ("the best
method") which seems to have been devised because Donald rejects the
Droop quota.  Donald also rejects the idea that the purpose of elections
is to elect.  In previous posts he expressed great concern to see every
vote transferred to its last possible destination rather than accept
that the same winners would be elected without all that paper shuffling.

Most of the items in Donald's "list of distortions" in STV arise from
bad or outdated implementations or attempts at deliberate political
interference or simply inappropriate use of a voting system.  They are
not inherent defects of STV-PR.

My principal objection to Donald's method is that it would entrench the
position of the political parties.  I support the use of STV-PR and
oppose the use of all forms of party list PR because I want to see the
balance of power shifted away from the parties in favour of the voters.
I want the balance of accountable of elected members shifted from the
parties towards the electors who voted for those members.


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