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

Richard Fobes ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org
Sat Feb 18 21:18:39 PST 2012

On 2/18/2012 1:49 PM, Kevin Venzke wrote:
> Hi Richard,
> *De :* Richard Fobes <ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org>
>> I do favor having more than two parties, but I don't see how three (or
>> more) strong parties can be accommodated until after Congress and state
>> legislatures use voting methods that are compatible with more than two
>> parties.
> Do you have real world examples in mind here? Have you looked at
> assemblies, to which no executive is responsible, that are elected by
> party list or that
> for some other reason have multiple parties?

I have in mind European parliaments where coalitions are typically needed.

In my opinion, coalitions require back-room compromises that most voters 
would not like (if they knew what those compromises were).

I have not seen any parliamentary democracies in which voters are able 
to elect problem-solving leaders.  Instead, special-interest puppets are 

More specifically, European politicians seem to be as clueless as U.S. 
politicians about what is needed to "create jobs" and restore widespread 
economic prosperity.

> I have trouble imagining that this is a major issue. Congressional rules
> based on the assumptions of there being two parties aren't in the U.S.
> constitution.
> They can be changed. But they definitely won't see revisions until there
> is a need to revise them!

I agree that a lot can be accomplished without making this change.

I also agree that there are no "unchangeable" laws that would prevent 
changing how voting is done in Congress.

Yet special interests -- i.e. the biggest campaign contributors -- will 
never intentionally allow such changes -- because they know how to 
control ("rig") the system under the current laws/rules.

> I think I might agree with you to some extent, in that I don't really
> care how many party labels there are. Whether there are two, three, ten,
> or zero, doesn't
> tell me much of anything by itself.

Well said!

Richard Fobes

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