[EM] Voting systems theory and proportional representationvssimple representation. (Abd ul-Rahman Lomax)

Raph Frank raphfrk at gmail.com
Mon Mar 15 07:08:32 PDT 2010

On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 1:46 PM, Terry Bouricius
<terryb at burlingtontelecom.net> wrote:
> Why would one want to have voters be restricted by the list order of one's
> favorite candidate, instead of allowing the voters themselves to reorder
> the party list (as happens with OPEN list systems - unlike closed party
> list PR)?

Open list doesn't really allow re-ordering of the party lists.  The
method uses multi-seat plurality to decide which party candidates are
elected.  It is better than having the party list decided centrally.

There is a possible system where all voters can vote for a few
candidates and then a party list as their last choice.

However, that still leads to a large number of choices.  For example,
if there were 50 candidates and 5 parties, then the number of possible
ballots would be 50*49*5 = 12250.

> Is the idea to allow candidates to list candidates outside their
> own party? Would parties put up with that from candidates they nominate,
> or wouldn't they  insist on that level of party loyalty to receive the
> party's nomination?

Quite possibly.  However, even if the party insisted on party members
being put first, it would allow party members to decide how to order
other party members.

Also, it reduces the power of the party over candidates.  If a party
tries to throw its weight around, the candidate has the option of
running as an independent and just listing some of the other party
members as high ranks.

It is a trade-off.  Ideally, there would be one district and everyone
would be elected at once using some form of PR-STV.  However, this
would be logistically difficult to achieve.  It would place a large
load on the voters, as they would have to rank a larger number of
candidates, and also on the counting process due to the large number
of rounds required.  The candidate list method gives some of the
flexibility of PR-STV and the national level proportionality of party
list systems.

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