[EM] Re: PR not representing median voter

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Wed Jul 23 21:45:43 PDT 2003

 --- Dgamble997 at aol.com a écrit : 
> Kevin Venzke wrote in part:
>> "On a different subject, I'm wary of PR generally, because I'm not confident 
>> that the median voter is likely to be represented... Do "median parties" really
>> exist?  I want the electoral (and constitutional) method to guarantee that the median
>> voter has a veto. (If it were possible, I would like to give a veto to every voter 
>> in a certain central chunk.)"
> Any system in which ANY subgroup of voters has a formal veto is NOT a 
> democracy. 
> What is so good about the " median voter" that they deserve a veto?

On any issue, you could arrange the voters (i.e., the people being represented
by the legislature) in a spectrum.  Without the median voter you can't have a 
majority position on that issue.

Thus if the electoral method produces a legislature that enacts policies that
aren't supported by the median voter (that is, "median" on that particular 
issue), I don't think that legislature is particularly legitimate.

I fear that PR methods may be prone to this kind of illegitimacy, because I
think it's doubtful that a party would sit on the median.  (Same problem with
FPTP.)  In contrast, with Condorcet especially, the median is the best place
for a candidate to lie.

Clear now?

> How on Earth do you propose to select those voters worthy to exercise this 
> privileged right of veto over the majority ?

A selection of people elected by Condorcet, Approval, or a variant should offer
a good estimate at where the median is.

As far as "privileged right of veto over the majority"...  Well, I addressed
that above.  The imaginary median voter is crucial to the majority of voters; as 
far as the majority of legislators, I don't give a damn about them if they don't 
represent the majority of the voters.

> This has got to be the worst idea I've seen posted on this list.

Well, I don't think you understood the idea.  But there are worse ideas in the
archive...  There was a fellow who wanted to take the vote away from the rich...

Kevin Venzke
stepjak at yahoo.fr

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