[EM] re: Brazil

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Thu Jul 17 14:02:16 PDT 2003

Stephane wrote (in part)
> Now to continue your discussion about "surplus", I would need 
> first to understand
> if one voter is supposed to elect one single candidate or 
> severals. It was not clear tome
> reading your previous descriptions...

The point that is being missed here is that nearly all open-list party
list systems fail to give PR WITHIN the parties.  This can occur in two
very different ways.

If your group within your party has sufficient support to "deserve",
say, 5 of the 10 seats your party will be allocated, but most of those
votes are concentrated on one very popular candidate from your group,
your group will win only one seat, not five.

In the alternative situation, a group with less support that "deserves",
say, 1 or 2 of the party's allocated seats, wins none because its votes
were spread fairly evenly across several candidates from the group.
None of them achieved the threshold to take any of the seats.

These two very different problems arise because the votes are not
transferable from candidate to candidate within the party.  Of course,
if you are going to complicate party list PR by making the votes
transferable within the individual parties, why not go the whole way and
make the votes freely transferable among all candidates?  Give the
voters free choice.  Then you've got STV-PR.

> I do understand that if multiple elected members are to be 
> selected, such a system would
> restrict voters to choose their favourite and after, without 
> any freedom, forces them to
> support the next best candidates of the same party according 
> to other voters.

This is how party list systems are intended to work.

> Personnally,
> I would prefer such a system when there is only one candidate 
> per riding of the same party,
> because I agree with you about the unfairness of such a 
> restriction. For single-member
> ridings, it vanishes. But you can still average all supports 
> to identify the right proportion of
> each party, and after elect their best representatives.

Your system would severely restrict the choices that voters can make -
even more restricted than in open list party list PR.
And of course, your system would give PR only of political parties.  It
would not allow the voters to express their wishes for PR on anything
else, eg gender, ethnic origin, religious affiliation, professional
activity, etc.


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