[EM] Census re-districting instead of PR for allocating seats to districts.

Michael Ossipoff email9648742 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 1 15:05:36 PDT 2012

On Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 3:32 PM, C.Benham <cbenhamau at yahoo.com.au> wrote:

> I haven't been following this discussion closely, but I've long thought
> that the best way of allocating seats to multi-member districts is to just
> say that subject to every district having at least one seat we do the
> allocation after the votes have been cast, based on the numbers of people
> who actually vote.


Nothing wrong with that. But the present way, district seat allocation by
population, is fine too, and I feel that the important thing is the voting
system. Or, in PR, the PR system and method. So the seat allocation to
districts is secondary to the method that chooses candidates or (in PR)
allocates seats to parties.

You continued:

> (Then within each district I favour STV-PR rather than any list system..)

STV systems usually use small districts, tending to defeat the purpose of
PR. Of course it's possible to have districts of any size, including
single-member districts, and still have a proportional allocation, by means
of a topping-up system: Seats are allocated in districts, among district
candidates, or party lists in the districts. But a national at-large
PR allocation is done too, and, for each party, the number of seats it has
won in the districts is augmented enough to bring it up to its national
allocation result. When I read about the German system, Germany was using
single-member districtss, each choosing a local candidate. Then the
parties' national totals are topped up, to bring them up the the result of
a national at-large list-PR allocation.

Multimember districts are more common, it seems to me, in topping-up
systems. There's no reason why, STV, voting for and
electing candidates, couldn't be used in each multimember district, with
the parties afterwards topped-up according to a national at-large list-PR

I've read of a European system in which an independent can run in party
list PR as if s/he were a party. A one-person party. In that way, party
list PR, or a topping-up system can be fair to independents.

Mike Ossipoff

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