[EM] STV vs Party-list PR, could context matter?

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Fri Feb 17 10:01:55 PST 2012

But why would you want all these differences and complications?

If you are going to use STV-PR for some of these elections, why not use STV-PR for all of these elections to the various
"representative assemblies" (councils, state legislatures, US House of Representatives, US Senate).  STV-PR works OK in both
partisan and non-partisan elections, so it should give fair and proper representation of the VOTERS in all these different

Of course, with districts returning only 3 to 5 members, the proportionality and direct representation MAY be a little limited, but
if small numbers are needed to make the system acceptable to the vested interests, then so be it.  STV-PR with 3, 4 or 5 member
districts is greatly to be preferred to plurality in single-member districts and to plurality at large.  We had to accept local
government wards electing only 3 or 4 councillors as part of our STV-PR package  -  that's practical politics.  But that reform has
transformed our local government  -  no more "one-party states".

James Gilmour

> -----Original Message-----
> From: election-methods-bounces at lists.electorama.com 
> [mailto:election-methods-bounces at lists.electorama.com] On 
> Behalf Of David L Wetzell
> Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 2:49 PM
> To: EM
> Subject: [EM] STV vs Party-list PR, could context matter?
> It seems to me that a common sense solution would be to base 
> which gets used on the propensity for voters to be informed 
> about the elections.
> Also, the two types seem to be bundled with different types 
> of quotas.  STV gets marketed with the droop quota here in 
> the US.  I'm not complaining because it's good to simplify 
> things.  But if STV were bundled with Droop then 3-seat LR 
> Hare might prove handy to make sure that 3rd parties get a 
> constructive role to play in US politics.
> So I propose that 3-5 seat STV with a droop quota, perhaps 
> using AV in a first step to simplify and shorten the 
> vote-counting and transferring process, for US congressional 
> elections or city council elections and 3-seat LR Hare for 
> state representative and aldermen elections.  The latter two 
> elections are less important and get less media coverage and 
> voter attention.  Is it reasonable to expect voters to rank 
> multiple candidates in an election where they often simply 
> vote their party line?  Why not keep it simple and use the 
> mix of Droop and Hare quotas to both keep the system's 
> duopolistic tendencies and to make the duopoly contested?
> It seems to me that most folks think the choice is between 
> ranked choices or party-list PR.  I think it is a matter of 
> context and that both can be useful, especially when no 
> explicit party-list is required for a 3-seat LR Hare 
> election.  The vice-candidates who would hold the extra seats 
> a party wins could either be selected after the victory or 
> specified before hand.  
> So what do you think?
> I'm keeping the seat numbers down because I accept that those 
> in power aren't going to want an EU multi-party system and 
> I'm not sure they're wrong about that, plus the US is used to 
> voting the candidate and having their representative and they 
> could keep that if there are relatively few seats per election.
> dlw

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