[EM] Why bicameralism ?

Stephane Rouillon stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca
Wed Sep 1 06:18:28 PDT 2004

I understand very well people want to have someone to defend their interest
and demand in the name of their community some money or favors to an upper
government for local projects. What I do not understand, is that apparent
that it has to be a representative from that same level of government. This
goes against all
efficient behaviours. One cannot be judge and party of the decision in the
same time.
Obviously an indian reserve representative will be a minoritarian
representative of that group
speaking in favor of them. People cannot know if it is well-founded or not.
The same for coastal
distrist and fishermen, the same for every district and its particular

Towns, cities and every geographical organisation already have representatives
at a local level:
mayors and city councils. Let them do the work, if not by themself by electing
to go defend the town interests in front of other decisional stands. Stop
internal behind-the-scene
deals and start an open and neutral decisional process that would encourage
politicians to take
decisions that benefit the most to get reelected.

It sounds idealistic, but it seems simple human behavior to me. Any
psychologist around?


"Dr.Ernie Prabhakar" a écrit :

> Dear Election Methods,
> Despite Arnold's best efforts (which, frankly, are better than anyone
> else has done here for decades) California appears to be in the grip of
> a perpetual governance crisis.  The result is that at least one
> well-known columnist is calling for radical reforms, including
> proportional representation (PR).  So, I figured this is a good time to
> map out a structure for a legislature that reflects everything I've
> learned from this group.  If things go well, I hope to start shopping
> the idea around with other local reform groups (suggestions welcome!).
> My assumption is that California is ready for PR and Condorcet, but not
> proxy democracy; perhaps arbitrary, but I have to start somewhere.  The
> goal, such as it is, would be to get something approved by 2010, and
> implemented by 2012.  I welcome your comments and suggestions.  I'm
> especially weak on PR allocation formulas (does anybody recommend
> anything besides STV?), so I'd particularly appreciate advice about
> that.
> Yours truly,
> -- Ernie P.
> Reengineering California: Towards A 21st Century Legislature
> Draft 1, 8/25/2004 Ernest Prabhakar <DrErnie at RadicalCentrism.org>
> My vision is to have a bicameral legislature, with an PR lower-house
> (Assembly) to write bills and a Condorcet single-winner upper-house
> (Senate) to edit them.   The idea is that the Assembly would draft
> bills, but that amendments proposed by various factions would be
> separate items rather than in-place changes.   So, for example Bill 42
> would have amendments A, B, C, and D attached.   This would take
> advantage of the energy, diversity and creativity of PR, and provide a
> low barrier-to-entry for factions to make their voices heard.
> By contrast, the job of the Senate is to filter out the various ideas
> and find the optimal compromise.   Debate in the Senate would be
> focused on simply identifying the interesting set of options, e.g., i)
> 42, ii) 42AB, iii) 42AD, iv) 42C. Again, it would be a low barrier
> (15%?) to nominate an option; they'd of course use Condorcet to vote
> amongst the options, so more choices wouldn't hurt.  In case of a
> cycle, the whole Smith set would go to the governor and he/she could
> pick one.

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