Sunday, July 12, 2015

Thought On Voting Reform 001

Thought On Voting Reform 001

July 12/2015

Recorded July 12, thought of long before.

I am going to use the Bahamas as an example here. We have a Westminster system. There are X number of seats representing X number of constituencies in the country. People will run to be elected to the seat for a constituency and the one getting the most votes gets the seat. (pretty much - there may be some technicalities missing)

You win a seat and you are a member of the house. The party with the most seats forms the government.

What if instead, everyone who ran for a seat got into the house so long as they got more than Y% of the votes? (Let's say as a first cut that Y is 5 or 10 percent) Let's further say that the votes are cast in an instant runoff fashion so that any votes cast for a person getting less than Y% of the votes go to the voter's next choice and so on. (How many levels deep is reasonable?)

Let's say when you get in and you vote on an issue in the house, your vote counts not as a whole vote but as a part of a vote equal to the percentage of the votes you got. So, if you got 60% of the vote, your vote in the house counts as 6 tenths of a vote. If you got 10% of the votes in your constituency, your vote in the house counts as 1 tenth of a vote when you cast it.

What problems does this solve? What problems does it create? Is it,on the whole, a better system for the people of a country?


Mike Linksvayer said...

Interesting idea. Would it obtain a proportional representation like ideological distribution of votes in the representative body, but potentially without parties?

Unpredictable number of elected and differing power among them would probably be a big barrier to using as a reform for existing institutionalized bodies such as national legislatures. How to allocate facilities, salaries, will the club-like atmosphere of the body be destroyed, will status of representatives be lowered (some of these might be good, but would be opposed)?

What non-government entities that have for example elected boards, should try your recommendation?

Laurel L. Russwurm said...

What you have now is a winner-take-all system...when the party with the most seats forms government, it is a virtual dictatorship.

I think weighted voting gets messy and isn't necessary in most proportional systems.

STV (Single Transferable Vote) is one of my favorite proportional systems. It uses a ranked ballot, and achieves a proportional outcome by having multi-member electoral districts. You might find my YouTube Electoral Reform playlist helpful: )

In proportional systems, it is very rare for a single party to get a majority; instead they almost always have coaltion governments, so a single party can't impose its will on the majority.

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