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

Erik Moeller eloquence at gmail.com
Mon Jan 2 20:58:58 PST 2017

On Mon, Jan 2, 2017 at 7:52 AM, James Gilmour <jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk> wrote:

> I have always understood that the British civil servants who administered the British Occupied Zone after WWII had a large hand in
> devising AMS, by combining the British FPTP system (with single-member electoral districts) with the old Weimar system, in the
> (mistaken) belief that this would introduce a significant element of personal choice to what had been an impersonal closed-list
> party-list voting system.

It's not completely mistaken as the directly elected candidates
sometimes do enjoy high local popularity that propels them to unusual
levels of success beyond the support for their party. But I think the
single-vote variant is interesting in this regard, because the
combination of party/person and the use of popular support to derive
party lists means that individuals benefit from campaigning locally
(they're more likely to get a list seat if they score well).

Variants of this system that don't require full ranking but still
increase intra-pary competition are likely possible. For example, if
voters could strike through the name of a person they absolutely don't
want while still voting for the party, this would be a simple tool to
further influence the list ranking.

> Originally electors had only one vote; the two-vote ballot paper was introduced for the Federal Bundestag
> elections in 1953.
> The predominance of closed-list party-list voting systems in continental Europe

Open lists are also widespread in continental Europe, as this map from
Fairvote shows:


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