[EM] Fwd: The point is that IRV (not PR) fosters peaceful democracy

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Fri Nov 18 03:34:11 PST 2005

> IRV Alliance Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 12:19 PM
>    But if Iraq starts using district representation like the U.S., 
> AND using IRV, then the most possible # of people will be represented 
> by EFFECTIVE politicians with broad non-partisan support.
>   Broad majorities will prevail while extremists will learn to compromise.

This is cloud-cuckoo-land thinking (and this is not a neo-con writing).

The last thing Iraq (or any other country in the world) needs is a parliament or legislature elected from single-member
districts like the USA or the UK, no matter what voting system is used within those single-member districts.  I
recognise that this is a political statement, in that it is based on my concept of what a parliament or legislature or
city council should be.

But the single-member district approach is also fatally flawed purely from an EM perspective.  No matter what voting
system you use (IRV, IRV+, Condorcet, etc, etc), one group could win every one of the single-member districts because it
genuinely had majority support among the voters in each of those single-member districts.  That could leave 49% of the
voters in the country with no representation in the parliament or legislature.  Quite apart from being fundamentally
undemocratic, that is a recipe for real trouble.  Here in the UK we have seen it at first hand and we are still
struggling to overcome the adverse effects of such a decision made 70 years ago.

The democratic aim should be to make the parliament, legislature or council representative of those who voted.  For that
you must use some system of PR - and all PR systems use multi-member districts.  If you are satisfied with group PR
(registered parties), you could use a party list PR system.  But if you want PR of the voters, and to give the power to
the voters instead of to the parties, you need STV-PR (or at least, I haven't found anything better yet in more than 40
years of looking).

Incidentally, all the voting reforms implemented in the UK in the past few years have introduced PR voting systems with
multi-member districts.  It is the single-member district that is on the way out!

James Gilmour

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