[EM] The Global Fight For Electoral Justice: A Primer

Juho Laatu juho.laatu at gmail.com
Sun Jan 1 11:35:19 PST 2017

> On 01 Jan 2017, at 21:16, Kristofer Munsterhjelm <km_elmet at t-online.de> wrote:

> On 01/01/2017 07:06 PM, ElectionMethods wrote:

>> (I presume closed-list PR is dominant in Europe because many members of
>> parliament would be unlikely to get re-elected under open-list PR.)
> If the "old parties heading off the socialist challenge" theory is correct, it would also explain why closed list PR is so common; the old parties weren't in it for egalitarian purposes, but rather as a necessary compromise. Open list would not have been required in such a scenario, just interparty PR. The only situation that would force open list would be if closed list would have led to too mediocre candidates within the old parties and thus to voters flocking to the socialists anyway.

I guess in many cases the rule is that those who have power want to stay in power. If there are two parties in power, they don't want to donate it to the third and fourth party. If there is some level of proportionality in the system, the incumbent parties don't want to distribute that power to parties that are smaller than themselves. If party officials can decide which candidates will be first on the party list, they don't like the idea of letting voters decide which candidates will be elected.

The main rule is that those who are in power want to concentrate more power to themselves. This applies also to civil servants and other interest groups. Democracy (the spirit of giving power to the people) takes steps forward occasionally. Small steps in the other direction are possible all the time. This means that if one wants to keep the status quo, there is a need to defend the system all the time in order to avoid those small steps in the opposite direction.

BR, Juho

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