[EM] Proportional Representation In The USA

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km_elmet at t-online.de
Wed Apr 21 02:14:16 PDT 2021

On 21/04/2021 02.12, VoteFair wrote:

> When I search for "preference vote" Wikipedia sends me to this article ...
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preferential_voting
> ... which lists multiple articles that relate to this term, none of
> which seem to clarify what it means in open-list PR.
> Can someone here can remedy this issue on Wikipedia and then point me to
> the fixed article?

It seems like it's either Approval voting or cumulative voting. In list
PR jargon, "preferential" seems to be a term for any kind of ballot that
lets voters vote both for parties and candidates.

Quoting from https://news.expats.cz/czech-culture/voting-czech-republic/:

> To vote for a political party and candidates from other parties: 
> Place an „x“ at the head of the party ticket (as you would to vote 
> only for a party) and then place an „x“ by the names of any other 
> candidates inother parties for whom you want to vote (preferential 
> votes).  Note: If you use this method of voting, the party you
> support receives the number of votes that remain after your
> preferential votes are counted.  For example, if there are 11 seats
> on the council, and you place an „x“ by Party A and by the names of
> 5 candidates from other parties, your preferential votes are counted
> first. The remainder of your votes then go to the first 6 candidates
> on Party A´s ticket.  If you mark more than one party (at the top of
> the party ticket) or more preferential votes than there are open seats,
> your ballot will not be counted.
which makes it sound like cumulative (any candidate you vote for reduces
the number of votes you give to the designated party).

But Negri[1] states the folllowing:

> Preferential votes under open list PR (and, to some extent, under 
> flexible list PR) are equivalent to approval voting within party
> lists: voters decide to approve (and notrank) some of the politicians
> appearing on the ballot. Only one approval vote can becast for each
> candidate (no cumulative voting). The total number of approval votes
> that can be expressed can vary a lot from country to country. For
> example, it is equal to one in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Brazil,
> it varies from one to five—depending onthe electoral district—in
> Greece and it coincides with the total number of candidates on the
> list in Belgium.

which sounds like a limited type of Approval voting (vote for up to k
candidates, then the candidates with the most votes win that party's
seats). The paper also mentions that a high level of k reduces minority
representation, which is in line with what you'd see under Approval,
since bloc Approval is not a proportional representation method.

I'm not sure which it is, though. If I find out, I'll change the
Wikipedia article.


More information about the Election-Methods mailing list