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

Richard Fobes ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org
Fri Feb 17 12:01:16 PST 2012

On 2/17/2012 6:49 AM, David L Wetzell wrote:
> ...
> It seems to me that most folks think the choice is between ranked
> choices or party-list PR.  ...
> So what do you think?

I don't see this as an either/or choice, nor do I see a viable "both" 
option being suggested.

So I'll again suggest VoteFair ranking:

VoteFair ranking uses "ranked choices" (1-2-3 ballots and pairwise 
counting...) for identifying the most popular candidate -- for filling 
the first seat in a legislative district.

VoteFair ranking fills the second district-based seat with the 
"second-most representative" candidate.  In the U.S., even without 
asking voters to indicate a party preference, that would usually be the 
most popular candidate from the opposite party (i.e. the opposite party 
compared to the first-seat winner).

To further increase proportionality, VoteFair ranking fills some 
proportional seats based on the favorite party of the voters. 
(Whichever party has the biggest gap between voter proportion and 
filled-seat proportion wins the next seat.)

We don't have to choose between proportionality (PR) and ranked methods. 
  We can get both.  And in a U.S.-compatible way.

If election-method reform is to happen in the U.S., it has to merge with 
the reality of the two-party system.  And I believe it should 
accommodate third parties only to the extent that voters are unable to 
regain control of the two main parties.

As for STV, going beyond two seats easily produces unfair results.  And 
in the U.S. the results also would be quite unstable (i.e. not mesh well 
with the current two-party system).

Richard Fobes

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