[EM] Electing a proportional executive/cabinet
raphfrk at netscape.net
raphfrk at netscape.net
Sat Mar 18 07:52:34 PST 2006
Is there any standard/efficient way to elect a cabinet directly ?
The only example I know of is the N. Ireland one. Under that system,
the d'hondt system is used. The largest party gets first choice and so
on based on the d'hondt system. This isn't really directly electing
the cabinet though. Also, if all the cabinet seats are not equal in
power/value, the larger parties benefit as they end up with first
choices and get the more important ones.
So assuming the following:
- a cabinet is to be directly elected by a general vote of the
- each seat on the cabinet is for a specific ministry with defined
- all seats are not necessarily equal in power and this may change over
My initial thought were that STV would be the best method.
Each candidate would stand for a specific seat and the candidates would
be ranked by the voters. A voter might vote:
1) Candidate A for finance minister
2) Candidate B for finance minister
3) Candidate C for defence minister
4) candidate D for justice minister
5) candidate E for finance minister
and so on
The problem comes down on how to select a quota. Using the droop quota
is not necessarily a good idea as each seat is not equal. For example,
there might only be one candidate for one of the seats as it is a
pretty unimportant ministery or maybe the incumbent is extrememly
Also, the importance of each minister would change from election to
election. For example, if a war was brewing, the choice of defense
minister would be critical. In times of high crime, the justice
minister would be important and so on. At all times, the importance of
a ministry would be related to the budget for the ministry. Also,
making sure a certain person doesn't get elected, might make people
vote for a certain ministry.
The process would be that the candidate with the lowest number of votes
is eliminated until a candidate is elected. A candidate is only deemed
elected when there is nobody else left for the seat the candidate is
standing for. The number of votes distributed from the elected
candidate would be equal to the number of votes that the candidate
defeated the 2nd place candidate by.
If lots of people have a certain ministry in their top choices, then it
is effectively deemed important, and given a larger quota.
I am not sure what the strategy effects of using the system would be.
The rule might mean people "burn" their vote by voting for a disputed
ministry. Knowledge of polls in the run-up to the election could
become important. Another tactic would be for a party to suggest to
their supporters to randomly select one of the party's candidates for
the cabinet as their first choice.
Also, perhaps "simple" ranking is not appropriate in this situation. I
might prefer a certain candidate for a specific ministry. However, I
would rather my second and third choice were selected rather than just
my first choice.
Maybe a range like ranking would be better. This would only be used to
decide where my vote went rather than in range where it is part of an
If I vote:
Then I am saying my first choice is A, but if I am given a choice, I
would rather B and C are elected to just A being elected. This would
make the counting even harder though. Also, I would be saying that I
would rather B and F both don't get elected rather than B and F both
Another option would be to allow voters to select the quota for each
vote they make. If the candidate is still not elected despite getting
more than 20% of the vote, a person might want their vote to go to
their 2nd choice. This could prevent a single seat having a massive a
quota. For example, if a candidate had 20,000 first choice votes, but
2000 of them had set their max at 15000, then those 2000 would transfer
to their 2nd choice, reducing the candidate to 18,000. Fractional
transfers would happen if the candidate would be reduced below the
quota of some of the people being transfered away.
Alternatively, the quota could just be set to the droop quota despite
the issues. Maybe somehow requiring that the power of each cabinet
seat be balanced somehow.
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