[EM] Bucklin "Momentum" from 1914.

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sat Dec 20 21:44:15 PST 2008


>Preferential voting and the rule of the majority
>Melvin P. Porter
>The progress of the Bucklin system to date (June 1, 1914) can be 
>seen from the following list of preferential voting cities on page 582.
>In the January issue of the National Municipal Review Professor 
>Lewis J. Johnson enumerates the following cities as now using 
>preferential voting: Grand Junction, Colorado; Spokane, Washington; 
>Pueblo, Colorado; New Iberia, Louisiana; Duluth, Minnesota; Denver, 
>Colorado; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Portland, Oregon; Kashua, New 
>Hampshire; Cleveland, Ohio; Fort Collins, Colorado; La Grande, 
>Oregon. The following cities are to be added to the list: Cadillac, 
>Michigan; St. Petersburg, Florida; Lethbridge, Alberta. By virtue of 
>the act of assembly passed by the New Jersey legislature on April 7, 
>all commission-governed citiea in New Jersey that have already 
>adopted that form and that may adopt that form in the future will 
>come under the preferential system. Therefore the follqwing named 
>New Jersey cities are to be added to the list: Atlantic City, 
>Beverly, Bordentown, Deal Beach, Haddonlield, Hawthorne, Jersey 
>City, Long Branch, Longport, Margate City, Millville, Nutley, Ocean 
>City, Orange, Paasaic, Phillipsburg, Ridgewood, Ridgefield Park, Sea 
>Isle City, Trenton, Union, Vineland, Wallington, Wildwood.

This is far more success than IRV has so far enjoyed in the U.S. It 
was all gone not long after. Why?


This is a googlebook, Direct Elections and Law-making by Popular 
Vote, with lots of details about early preferential adoptions in the 
U.S. The first one was apparently Grand Junction, i.e., Bucklin. But 
the book covers proportional representation, single transferable 
vote, and the Grand Junction system, and notes that the Grand 
Junction system included a candidate elimination with each round, 
specifically to ensure that a winner had a "respectable number of 
first preference votes."  The book calls Bucklin "The American 
system" and single transferable vote "The English system." The 
difference, of course, is that the "American system" adds in the 
additional preference votes, whereas the "English system" transfers 
them from eliminated candidates. None of the actual Bucklin elections 
that I've examined eliminated candiates; it seems to have been 
realized that this wasn't necessary.

Spokane implemented Bucklin for a five-winner election in 1911. There 
were *92* names on the ballot the first time it was used. (This was a 
vote-for-five at 1st and 2nd preference, vote for as many as you like 
in the Other category.) I don't have details, but there is a report 
in the book that the election went off without a hitch.


1916: It appears that San Francisco adopted Preferential Voting. 
Bucklin system. Gad, does anybody read history? There is a list of 52 
cities using Bucklin in the cited article, as of December 1, 1916. 
The article made this claim, apparently accurate as of that date:

>No city once having adopted the Bucklin system has ever voluntarily 
>given it up. Duluth was forced to give it up by a divided decision 
>of the state supreme court declaring it to be in violation of the 
>Minnesota constitution.

The first adoption of Bucklin was in Grand Junction in 1909, though. 
That's certainly not a long history!

Cities over 100,000 population (1910) that adopted Bucklin, per this 
article: Spokane WA, Denver CO, Portland OR, Cleveland OH, Columbus 
OH, Jersey City NJ, Paterson NJ, San Francisco CA, Toledo OH.

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