[EM] STV district magnitude

stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca
Mon Jul 21 09:41:02 PDT 2003


what you say is very exact for free associations of voters,
however it does not apply to well-assigned districts.

Please explain to me what specific advantages a candidate could
give to its electorate when his/her district is formed with
the people born between January 1st and January 5th of any year?

With an exception for persons born February 29th, such a system
can effectively produce 73 virtual districts, equivalent in
"profession, political preference, or personal whim, or whatever".
Until humanity produces religions or ethnic groups based on
their birth date, this seems one nice way to produce "equivalent" districts...

So I agree with you about those undesirable features,
and I am against one national mega-district. IMHO, many
single-membered virtual districts avoid crowded lists,
can be fully proportional and still is coherent with your remarks.


> De: "Alex Small" <asmall at physics.ucsb.edu>
> Date: 2003/07/21 lun. AM 11:31:17 GMT-04:00
> À: <election-methods-electorama.com at electorama.com>
> Subject: Re: [EM] STV district magnitude
> Stephane Rouillon said:
> > Making "virtual" ridings non-geographically-based migth not be
> > considered by serious electoral-reformers, and it is not going to be
> > feasible soon, but do you see another way to remove personal interest
> > from the election process.
> This has its problems too.  Let's say we somehow form virtual districts,
> based on free or assigned associations of people.  It can be by
> profession, political preference, or personal whim, or whatever.  Now the
> goal is to advance "my" group.  Maybe not pork for the local road
> construction, but if it's a free association of people with common
> interests, then advance whatever those interests are to the expense of all
> else.  If it's a virtual district based on profession, well, we've all
> seen how lobbying groups for labor and business operate.  If it's (God
> forbid) a religious or ethnic virtual district, we've all seen how ethnic
> and religious divisions can play havoc in politics.
> No electoral system can cure politicians of the desire to advance their
> constituents to the detriment of all others, unless we go to a single
> nation-wide electoral district.  And the undesirable features of such a
> district are:
> 1)  The more constituents a legislator has, the harder it is for a citizen
> to really have meaningful access to a legislator.
> 2)  The more candidates there are, the less likely candidates are to
> compete on individual merit, and the more difficult it is for the voters
> to evaluate individuals on their merits.
> Anyway, I no longer buy the argument "My method elects better people who
> are less selfish."  The only arguments I might buy are "This method gives
> more groups of voters a seat at the table in proportion to their number", 
> or "This method enables more options to compete".
> Alex
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