[EM] Election layering effect (or why election-method reform is important)
ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org
Fri Apr 27 12:26:11 PDT 2012
Recently I realized that in our Declaration, and in our discussions, we
have failed to explain and explore the "amplification" effect that
occurs as a result of, for a lack of a better term at the moment,
Here is how I explained it in the proposal I referred to earlier:
"Winning an election with less than half the votes might seem like a
small unfairness, but the effect is huge because of a layering effect.
Although each Congressman typically got a ballot mark from about one out
of two voters in the general election, he or she got a ballot mark from
only about one out of four voters (based on cross-party counting) if the
Congressman competed against a strong candidate in the primary election.
Another layer occurs because only slightly more than half the members of
Congress need to vote in favor of a new law to get it passed, so just
those Congressmen got ballot marks from only about one out of eight U.S.
voters, which is about 12% of U.S. voters. Yet even more layers are
involved because most Congressmen first serve as state-level officials,
and the state-level election process similarly filters out the
problem-solving leaders that most voters want. Adding in two more layers
to account for mainstream-media influence and low voter turnout easily
accounts for how each law passed in Congress represents the desires of
only 1% of the U.S. population."
(The full proposal is at:
I'm interested in any ideas for how this concept can be explained more
clearly, especially if someone can think of an appropriate analogy or
metaphor or diagram.
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