[EM] In defence of IRV

Jan Šimbera simbera.jan at gmail.com
Mon Nov 15 13:28:30 PST 2021

> I think in the US specifically there are constitutional barriers to
multi-member districts.

As far as I understand both the US Constitution and [1], the barrier is not
constitutional but on the level of a congressional act, making it much
easier to change. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

[1]: The Apportionment Act of 1842: “In All Cases, By District” | US House
of Representatives: History, Art & Archives

On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 10:05 PM Daniel Carrera <dcarrera at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 2:49 PM Jan Šimbera <simbera.jan at gmail.com> wrote:
>> As an aside since the debate has broadened considerably anyway:
>> To me, a Central European, it is still quite strange how little the
>> American debate on electoral reform focuses on the option of multimember
>> constituencies (the reform of House elections from single-member
>> districts to a per-state PR method perhaps being the most obvious
>> candidate).
>> The main argument I find for the "first show support, then negotiate"
>> paradigm is that it gives the votes more expressive power
>> AND makes the negotiation process more transparent and observable
>> for the general public.
> Yeah. I think multimember precincts are a brilliant solution but my
> impression is that anglo-saxon countries are really stuck on the idea of
> single member districts (Ireland being a notable exception). The argument
> I've heard is that the elected official is there to represent their
> particular region, but I've never been persuaded by that argument. I've
> lived in three anglo-saxon countries (Canada, UK, US) and national politics
> are always national. I've never heard of an MP or member of congress
> actually push for a little parochial issue that is specific to their
> particular spot in the country. It all seems to be party-line votes
> regardless. If politicians are going to behave that way, then we might as
> well just have a system with proportional representation. I would love to
> see STV in more places. I think in the US specifically there are
> constitutional barriers to multi-member districts.
> --
> Dr. Daniel Carrera
> Postdoctoral Research Associate
> Iowa State University
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