[EM] Electing a proportional executive/cabinet

RaphFrk at netscape.net RaphFrk at netscape.net
Mon Mar 20 09:16:24 PST 2006

Dan Bishop <daniel-j-bishop at neo.tamu.edu> wrote:
>Here's my idea:
>STEP 1: Set the "price of a vote" for each position.  This could be 
>proportional to the budget of the ministry.
>Example: The Republic of Electoria spends 4% of its budget on justice, 
>3% on the treasury, and 93% on defense (the country is currently 
>involved in a major war).  "Prices" of votes are set based on these 
>percentages: A vote for the Justice Minister "costs" 4 marks, a vote for 
>the Finance Minister costs 3 marks, and a vote for the Defense Minister 
>costs 93 marks.
>STEP 2: Each voter is given a fixed "vote budget", to allocate as they wish.
>Example: Each voter in Electoria is given 1000 marks to "spend" on votes.
>Mr. Gunn is most concerned about winning the war, so he "buys" 10 votes 
>in the Defense Minister election.  With his remaining 70 marks, he buys 
>10 votes each in the Finance and Justice Ministers' elections.
>Mr. Law, however, is more concerned about the skyrocketing crime rates 
>at home.  He "buys" 124 votes in the Justice Minister election, 5 votes 
>in the Defence Minister election, and 13 votes in the Finance Minister 
>Ms. Gold is worried about Electoria's skyrocketing budget deficit.  She 
>"buys" 320 votes for the Finance Minister and 10 votes for the Justice 
>STEP 3: Each voter casts a ranked ballot in the election for each 
>minister.  This ballot is weighted by the number of votes the voter 
>"bought" for that position.

One problem with this is it faces the same problem as plurality.  If a certain seat on the cabinet is a sure thing, then there is no point in wasting some of your marks on that seat (or maybe it is the opposite problem, being a sure thing might prevent you from being elected).  I think that votes that don't elect someone should be allowed to be transferred to another seat.

Also, budget isn't the only thing that determines power of a ministry.  The finance ministry may have a small budget, but if it sets things like interest rates (or decides on the method used to compute inflation) and also controls things like government borrowing etc, then it is still very important.

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