[EM] Filling Unscheduled Vacancies With PR

R.G.'Stumpy' Marsh rmarsh at xtra.co.nz
Thu Nov 6 02:47:02 PST 2003

On Thu, 6 Nov 2003 00:30:26 -0800 (PST), you wrote:

>Now, if we used party lists then the resigning legislator could simply be
>replaced by somebody from his party, perhaps whoever on his list got the
>most votes without being elected (in an open list method).  

Even with a closed list this works. The next ranked person is offered
the seat in any case. The only difference is how the rankings are

>But if we use
>candidate-based methods (e.g. STV, PAV, cumulative voting, etc. etc.) then
>we're saying that, while political parties will undoubtedly exist in
>practice, they have no fundamental role in the design of our electoral
>system.  So it would seem dubious to let party leaders pick the


>What do people here think is the best way to replace legislators in the
>middle of a term while retaining proportionality?  What solutions have
>various countries devised?

With STV the results could be recalculated with preferences for the
original winner ignored. There's a chance that could upset the rest of
the seats though (non-monotonicity).

If the vacancy isn't due to death or mental incapacity then the
outgoing winner could be asked to nominate a replacement. To be safe,
winners could be asked to nominate their replacement on appointment,
with the option to change their nomination at any time of course. 

The latter method could be used with any electoral system.

R.G. "Stumpy" Marsh     Timaru, New Zealand

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