STV-PR Re: [EM] Using weights to compensate multiple votes (It'smostlyabout PR)

Adam Haas Tarr atarr at
Wed Aug 25 11:07:16 PDT 2004

I agree with everything James wrote, I'd just like to make an addition.

James Gilmour wrote:

>Dr.Ernie Prabhakar  > Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 4:30 PM
>> But, with PR, it can get quite complicated.  Has anyone thought about 
>> the 'fairest' way to maximize locality while preserving PR?  Or, is 
>> there a really strong argument that one should ignore locality 
>> completely?  Or is it just too hard?
>With all PR systems there is a trade-off between degree of PR obtained and localness of
>representation.  To increase PR, increase district magnitude.  To increase localness, reduce
>district magnitude.  Different people will have different views about where the balance should 
>struck in making that trade-off.  Remember also that the law of diminishing returns applies: 

In addition to losing "localness", some would argue for smaller district magnitude for two other 

1)  A moderating influence on the legislature.  By requiring every elected candidate to have a 
significant level of support in some area, we reduce the chance of electing more extreme 

2)  Simplicity for the voter.  The fewer seats to be filled, the less candidates the voter has 
to vote for to ensure exhausting his or her ballot, and the less research the voter has to do to 
vote in an informed manner.

The first point is a bit more controversial than the second.  At any rate, I'd gravitate towards 
around 7 candidates per disctrict.  This is a general rule and I'd allow for exceptions.  An 
excellent example of an exception would be New York City, where it makes sense to just have one 
district with a dozen seats.

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