[EM] Re: alternate proportional method

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Tue Jul 22 15:22:01 PDT 2003

Stephane wrote:
> I do understand well STV. The sentence you quote is out of 
> the context of its discussion. However, I was not precise 
> enough. This is what I meant:
> From all candidates of a party, "STV only allows comparison 
> between the candidates <snip> running in the same 
> multi-member constituency. You cannot compare all candidates 
> of the same party because, to my knowledge, all candidates of 
> the same party do not run in the same constituency." Of 
> course, STV allows comparison between all candidates running 
> in the constituency, including those of other parties... the 
> "only" did not apply to them.
> SPPA does allow comparison of all candidates of the same 
> party, even between different constituencies because their 
> electorate are "equivalent", which means they use samples of 
> the whole electorate with the same proportions of any 
> possible specific group of interest.
> I really agree with James about what follows so I'll move to 
> the other post, where I believe we disagree...

No. I don't think we really agree at all, Stephane.

I didn't take your sentence out of its context, nor did I
misunderstand your meaning.  You have reinforced my understanding
by the clarification you have presented above.

Your system makes comparisons among all candidates of the same
party, across the whole country.  You have thereby defined your
objective as party PR.  That was why I said, and repeat, you have
misunderstood the whole purpose of STV-PR.  For STV-PR, parties
(or any other registered groups) are totally and utterly
irrelevant.  Of course, the parties may well be very important to
the voters, but that is quite a different matter.  The issue is
the purpose of the voting system.  On the one hand, we have PR of
parties as the prime purpose.  On the other, we have PR of
whatever the voters decide on the day.

This is not a question of semantics - it is fundamental to the
political system.  It defines the role of political parties and
it determines the relationship between the elected members and
the voters.  It determines the balance of accountability of the
elected members, as between their parties and their constituents,
ie those who voted for them.  This in turn determines the
relationship between the elected members and the executive in a
parliamentary democracy.


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