[OT] Voting systems [was Wrong ad on www.linux.org]

Ian Goldberg linux-cOjNTMaGA5U at public.gmane.org
Fri Jul 2 16:13:51 UTC 2004

On Fri, Jul 02, 2004 at 11:13:24AM -0400, cbbrowne-HInyCGIudOg at public.gmane.org wrote:
> > On Thu, 1 Jul 2004, Lennart Sorensen wrote:
> > 
> > > better.  The green party even sounded fairly reasonable, but almost no
> > > one seems to vote for them.
> > 
> > The "first past the post voting system" currently in use in Canadian
> > federal elections is a problem IMHO.  The fact that it discourages voting
> > for minority parties "that won't get in anyway" is well known.  A system
> > of preferential voting can help here since people can vote for a minority
> > party as first preference without fear that their vote will be "wasted."
> > 
> > Proportional representation allows more representation for minority views
> > but it can be taken too far as well (see the Knesset for an example of
> > this).
> Proportional representation also has the effect of
> diminishing/eliminating geographic representation, as well as putting
> into Party hands the choice of who actually gets elected.

But *Probabilistic* Proportional Representation (PPR) [due, AFAIK, to
Russell O'Connor] preserves geographic representation, while keeping
minority views represented.

Simply, in each riding, you pick a candidate to win with probability
proportional to the number of votes he/she received.  So if Mills and
Layton were neck-and-neck, they'd each have about a 50% chance of being
elected (with a small chance going to the other parties).  Overall,
parties would have about the number of seats as would be expected from
their popular vote figures: the Greens would have gotten about 13 seats,
and the Marxist-Leninists would get one seat every 20 years or so.

   - Ian
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