[EM] Request comments on MMP?

Alex Small asmall at physics.ucsb.edu
Sat Jul 26 17:57:04 PDT 2003

James Gilmour said:
> Olli wrote, re party list:
>> I do. STV would be ideal, but in the real world, with existing
>> parties, it's unnecessarily complicated, both for the election
>> officials and the voters,
> I dispute this.  It cannot be "unnecessarily complicated" because it has
> worked OK in Ireland since 1920 and Northern Ireland since 1973, all
> with hand sorting and counting.  The electors in Ireland love it so much
> that they twice defeated government moves to abandon it.


I actually think STV is superior to open party-list in principle, but in
practice I'm not convinced America is ready for it.

To prove me wrong, all you have to do is go to southeast Florida, take a
representative and statistically significant sample of registered voters,
and try to explain STV to them.  If you get 80% to understand it, I'll
enthusiastically support STV.

Until then, I think the Swiss version of open party-list is the best
compromise between simplicity and principle:  Each voter gets a number of
votes equal to the number of seats up for election.  He or she can vote
for whichever candidates he or she wants to, giving each candidate up to 2
votes.  A vote for a candidate is also a vote for the list, and seats are
apportioned among lists using some quota system (Hare?  Droop?  Saint
Somebody?  I don't know).  The candidates elected from each list are the
ones with the most votes.

(In politics, I'm a great admirer of many aspects of the Swiss system.)


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