[EM] Proportional Representation In The USA

Jan Šimbera simbera.jan at gmail.com
Wed Apr 21 03:03:24 PDT 2021

Hi all,
as a Czech local, let me clarify this:
What the Expats page explains is the panachage system used for Czech
municipal elections, where voters can vote for individual candidates across
parties, but the votes are then summed per party and evaluated as an open
list election as described below. (Which is highly misleading for the
voter, but there is no political will to fix that since it allows otherwise
unattractive parties to "fish" for votes by placing well-known local
personalities on the list.)
In Czech parliamentary and European elections, the election is a classical
open list PR example: the voter chooses a single party list and may express
support for some candidates (4 or 2 respectively based on the election).
The intra-party competition is then closest to the multiple
non-transferable vote system combined with pre-imposed ordering.
I tried to update the Preferential voting and Open list Wikipedia articles
accordingly. Please let me know of any outstanding deficiencies.
Also, votelib <https://github.com/simberaj/votelib> can evaluate open list
elections through its votelib.evaluate.openlist
evaluators - there is an example
<https://votelib.readthedocs.io/en/stable/examples/nmnmet_cc_2018.html> of
the last Czech municipal election demonstrated in its documentation.
All the best,

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 11:14 AM Kristofer Munsterhjelm <
km_elmet at t-online.de> wrote:

> 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.
> [1]
> https://risweb.st-andrews.ac.uk/portal/en/researchoutput/preferential-votes-and-minority-representation-in-open-list-proportional-representation-systems(f8102c17-f213-43bc-bd26-8cf9c9ae960d).html
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