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Proportional Representation

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Good Old Money
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Proportional Representation

Postby Good Old Money » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:13 pm

Proportional representation is a form of electing officials in which the seats are allocated proportionally based on the percentage of votes received. This is proportional representation in its simplest form. To accomplish this, different methods are used.

For these methods and some other basic info, check out this link.

My question to NSG is this: Do you like proportional representation, and if so which form? If not, what form of elections do you like?

In my opinion, proportional representation lets a very small minority rule, and does not actually represent the country's best interests, because 15 or 20% of a nation, who might be radical, can ruin the other 80%, especially when the winning party only gets 40% of the vote and must form a coalition. Also, it encourages parties and dogma over individual candidates. I prefer constituencies, like in the US, which gives voters a greater choice.

If I had to have PR though, I would definitely want open-list, which means voters can pick which candidates represent each party in that nation's Parliament.
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New England and The Maritimes
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Postby New England and The Maritimes » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:17 pm

We don't need bandaids. We need to change the way we view government. All a proportional representation would do is allow a third party to rise as a kingmaker and make politics even more tedious and impossible. Once, as people, we stop electing asshats who shirk the duties of their office, our problems in this venue will be solved.
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Fartsniffage
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Postby Fartsniffage » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:19 pm

New England and The Maritimes wrote:We don't need bandaids. We need to change the way we view government. All a proportional representation would do is allow a third party to rise as a kingmaker and make politics even more tedious and impossible. Once, as people, we stop electing asshats who shirk the duties of their office, our problems in this venue will be solved.


How should that change be made? How should we view government and what changes to the electoral process should be made?

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Alyakia
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Postby Alyakia » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:19 pm

The nightmare scenario where a party only gets 40% of the vote and needs to form a coalition is, well, a nightmare. I much prefer FPTP in my country where currently parties usually win with 36% of the vote and still have a majority. It's farier and more democratic.
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Postby Pope Joan » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:21 pm

New England and The Maritimes wrote:We don't need bandaids. We need to change the way we view government. All a proportional representation would do is allow a third party to rise as a kingmaker and make politics even more tedious and impossible. Once, as people, we stop electing asshats who shirk the duties of their office, our problems in this venue will be solved.


I think third parties are fun.

If we have enough parties, the fat cats won't know for sure where to spend their bribes campaign contributions.
"Life is difficult".

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Fartsniffage
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Postby Fartsniffage » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:21 pm

Alyakia wrote:The nightmare scenario where a party only gets 40% of the vote and needs to form a coalition is, well, a nightmare. I much prefer FPTP in my country where currently parties usually win with 36% of the vote and still have a majority. It's farier and more democratic.


How is it more democratic? Last election I voted for a candidate that didn't win, my voice is being ignored for 5 years now.

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Good Old Money
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Postby Good Old Money » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:23 pm

Fartsniffage wrote:
Alyakia wrote:The nightmare scenario where a party only gets 40% of the vote and needs to form a coalition is, well, a nightmare. I much prefer FPTP in my country where currently parties usually win with 36% of the vote and still have a majority. It's farier and more democratic.


How is it more democratic? Last election I voted for a candidate that didn't win, my voice is being ignored for 5 years now.


I don't know that PR is democratic either, because it sometimes does not allow the majority to rule, which is exactly what a democracy is, purely.
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Alyakia
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Postby Alyakia » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:24 pm

Fartsniffage wrote:
Alyakia wrote:The nightmare scenario where a party only gets 40% of the vote and needs to form a coalition is, well, a nightmare. I much prefer FPTP in my country where currently parties usually win with 36% of the vote and still have a majority. It's farier and more democratic.


How is it more democratic? Last election I voted for a candidate that didn't win, my voice is being ignored for 5 years now.

Because otherwise the LOSER would determine the outcome of the election. And people would vote four times. Or something. I've forgotten all the terrible arguments people like to use.

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Alyakia
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Postby Alyakia » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:26 pm

Good Old Money wrote:
Fartsniffage wrote:
How is it more democratic? Last election I voted for a candidate that didn't win, my voice is being ignored for 5 years now.


I don't know that PR is democratic either, because it sometimes does not allow the majority to rule, which is exactly what a democracy is, purely.

How are defining majority?
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Fartsniffage
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Postby Fartsniffage » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:28 pm

Good Old Money wrote:
Fartsniffage wrote:
How is it more democratic? Last election I voted for a candidate that didn't win, my voice is being ignored for 5 years now.


I don't know that PR is democratic either, because it sometimes does not allow the majority to rule, which is exactly what a democracy is, purely.


Ummm...if a majority votes for a party then they would have proportionally the most votes and would rule. It's when there isn't a majority that it gets interesting.

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New England and The Maritimes
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Postby New England and The Maritimes » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:28 pm

Fartsniffage wrote:
New England and The Maritimes wrote:We don't need bandaids. We need to change the way we view government. All a proportional representation would do is allow a third party to rise as a kingmaker and make politics even more tedious and impossible. Once, as people, we stop electing asshats who shirk the duties of their office, our problems in this venue will be solved.


How should that change be made? How should we view government and what changes to the electoral process should be made?


We need to make secondary education accessible to all, we need to take fraud and lies out of so-called "news media," we need to work with teachers and education specialists to get children invested in education, and as such better able to absorb important information about civics.

We ought to view government the way we did in the 60s and 70s, before the rise of theocratic psychopathy in the Republican Party of America. Public office, and the power that comes with it, is a tool to leave the country better than before. The goal of running for office should be to make improvements, not to "beat that other guy." The way politics was done before the rise of 24 hour news and John Birch was a good system, albeit not a perfect one.

As a Democratic Socialist, my purest belief is that the promotion of Democracy and the removal of barriers to a democratic and prosperous life for all will lead to societal evolution beyond our current problems of class and race relations and nationalism.
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Good Old Money
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Postby Good Old Money » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:30 pm

Alyakia wrote:
Fartsniffage wrote:
How is it more democratic? Last election I voted for a candidate that didn't win, my voice is being ignored for 5 years now.

Because otherwise the LOSER would determine the outcome of the election. And people would vote four times. Or something. I've forgotten all the terrible arguments people like to use.

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Adm ... gn-005.jpg


I am defining majority as a plurality, or the party with the most supporters, not necessarily more than 50%. However, most voters are mainstream, and are not necessarily opposed to the party with the plurality. But in PR, a radical, tiny fragment of the population can turn the election upside down.

Fartsniffage wrote:
Good Old Money wrote:
I don't know that PR is democratic either, because it sometimes does not allow the majority to rule, which is exactly what a democracy is, purely.


Ummm...if a majority votes for a party then they would have proportionally the most votes and would rule. It's when there isn't a majority that it gets interesting.


I have given my definition for majority above, but yes, this is true.
Last edited by Good Old Money on Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Quelesh
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Postby Quelesh » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:32 pm

I wouldn't oppose proportional representation, but my preference at this time is for instant runoff (preferential) voting in single-seat (or possibly multi-seat) constituencies. I don't think my country (the United States) is ever going to implement proportional representation, at least not for a very long time, but I think at least certain states can be convinced to implement instant runoff voting, and it would be a dramatic improvement.
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NewLakotah
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Postby NewLakotah » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:33 pm

Personally, I don't think a PR is the right choice to America. First of all, if we consider America, we elect each Rep and Senator individually and I think that is the best way to do that. Secondly, PR hasn't shown its foolproof yet, and when dealing with politicans, your gonna need a great plan to get it to work.
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The Willing
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Postby The Willing » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:34 pm

Pope Joan wrote:
New England and The Maritimes wrote:We don't need bandaids. We need to change the way we view government. All a proportional representation would do is allow a third party to rise as a kingmaker and make politics even more tedious and impossible. Once, as people, we stop electing asshats who shirk the duties of their office, our problems in this venue will be solved.


I think third parties are fun.

If we have enough parties, the fat cats won't know for sure where to spend their bribes campaign contributions.


Not really the problem is you'll just end up with 50 little parties and 3 or 4 big parties.
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Alyakia
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Postby Alyakia » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:34 pm

I am defining majority as a plurality, or the party with the most supporters


Supporters, as in votes?

not necessarily more than 50%.


So more people didn't vote for than people that did? Sounds great.

However, many parties are similar in thought, but one radical party can change an entire election with 20% of the vote.
[/quote]

Isn't this argurably what happened in the recent UK general election, a very not PR system?
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Postby Trotskylvania » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:35 pm

PR only works with parliamentary government.
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Alyakia
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Postby Alyakia » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:35 pm

NewLakotah wrote:Personally, I don't think a PR is the right choice to America. First of all, if we consider America, we elect each Rep and Senator individually and I think that is the best way to do that. Secondly, PR hasn't shown its foolproof yet, and when dealing with politicans, your gonna need a great plan to get it to work.

What do you mean "hasn't shown its foolproof" yet?
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Good Old Money
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Postby Good Old Money » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:36 pm

Quelesh wrote:I wouldn't oppose proportional representation, but my preference at this time is for instant runoff (preferential) voting in single-seat (or possibly multi-seat) constituencies. I don't think my country (the United States) is ever going to implement proportional representation, at least not for a very long time, but I think at least certain states can be convinced to implement instant runoff voting, and it would be a dramatic improvement.


I like instant runoff in most cases, it's a good idea, although in the United States and its two-party system, one candidate will almost always get a majority.

And I think the US will never implement PR because there is no viable third or fourth party. The Libertarians or Greens? They are very isolated, and probably not ready or strong enough to have Congressional representation. And they only represent a very small fraction of the population.

The Republicans and Democrats would still get most of the seats.
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Good Old Money
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Postby Good Old Money » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:38 pm

Alyakia wrote:
I am defining majority as a plurality, or the party with the most supporters


Supporters, as in votes?

not necessarily more than 50%.


So more people didn't vote for than people that did? Sounds great.

However, many parties are similar in thought, but one radical party can change an entire election with 20% of the vote.


Isn't this argurably what happened in the recent UK general election, a very not PR system?[/quote]

Yes, most voters, and it could definitely end with the winner not gaining more than 50% of the vote.

And I don't know Britain's specifics, but even without PR, this can happen in a multiparty system, with more than 2 major parties.
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Alyakia
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Postby Alyakia » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:38 pm

Trotskylvania wrote:PR only works with parliamentary government.

i'm too lazy to super impose an image of countries using some sort of PR on an image of all countries using a parliamentary system
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Alyakia
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Postby Alyakia » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:43 pm

Good Old Money wrote:
Yes, most voters, and it could definitely end with the winner not gaining more than 50% of the vote.


From memory, we need to go back to the 70s/80s to find a party with 40% of the vote, and to the 40s/50s to get ones that fall just 1 or 2% short of 50%.

it just doesn't feel right dawg ):

And I don't know Britain's specifics, but even without PR, this can happen in a multiparty system, with more than 2 major parties.


yep

tbh i'm just enjoying my rlatively strong "majority" government given to us by PR
Last edited by Alyakia on Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Quelesh
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Postby Quelesh » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:51 pm

Good Old Money wrote:
Quelesh wrote:I wouldn't oppose proportional representation, but my preference at this time is for instant runoff (preferential) voting in single-seat (or possibly multi-seat) constituencies. I don't think my country (the United States) is ever going to implement proportional representation, at least not for a very long time, but I think at least certain states can be convinced to implement instant runoff voting, and it would be a dramatic improvement.


I like instant runoff in most cases, it's a good idea, although in the United States and its two-party system, one candidate will almost always get a majority.

And I think the US will never implement PR because there is no viable third or fourth party. The Libertarians or Greens? They are very isolated, and probably not ready or strong enough to have Congressional representation. And they only represent a very small fraction of the population.

The Republicans and Democrats would still get most of the seats.


The current strength of the Republican and Democratic parties is the main reason why I support instant runoff voting. A lot of people don't vote for third party candidates not because they don't agree with the candidates' positions but because they're afraid that their vote will be "wasted." People know that only the Republican and Democratic candidates have any realistic chance of winning an election, so they vote for the lesser of two evils instead of the candidate they genuinely prefer.

Remember how a lot of Democrats were angry at Ralph Nader in 2000, saying that he helped Bush win by drawing votes away from Gore? That wouldn't happen with instant runoff. Nader would have gotten a significantly higher percentage of the votes than he actually got in 2000 because he'd get the votes of a lot of people who would have voted for him in 2000 were it not for the "wasted vote" / helping Bush win effect. Most Nader voters would have had Gore as their second choice, so most of Nader's votes would have gone to Gore anyway in states where Nader is eliminated due to no one getting a majority in the first round.

I think we would see third party support (in the form of vote totals) increase significantly. Not overly dramatically, not overnight, but they'd start getting more votes, and we'd probably have at least a handful of Green and/or Libertarian Party members in Congress (maybe Socialist Party USA in a couple districts). Instant runoff voting would help create viable third parties, in my opinion.
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Good Old Money
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Postby Good Old Money » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:57 pm

Quelesh wrote:
Good Old Money wrote:
I like instant runoff in most cases, it's a good idea, although in the United States and its two-party system, one candidate will almost always get a majority.

And I think the US will never implement PR because there is no viable third or fourth party. The Libertarians or Greens? They are very isolated, and probably not ready or strong enough to have Congressional representation. And they only represent a very small fraction of the population.

The Republicans and Democrats would still get most of the seats.


The current strength of the Republican and Democratic parties is the main reason why I support
instant runoff voting. A lot of people don't vote for third party candidates not because they don't agree with the candidates' positions but because they're afraid that their vote will be "wasted." People know that only the Republican and Democratic candidates have any realistic chance of winning an election, so they vote for the lesser of two evils instead of the candidate they genuinely prefer.

Remember how a lot of Democrats were angry at Ralph Nader in 2000, saying that he helped Bush win by drawing votes away from Gore? That wouldn't happen with instant runoff. Nader would have gotten a significantly higher percentage of the votes than he actually got in 2000 because he'd get the votes of a lot of people who would have voted for him in 2000 were it not for the "wasted vote" / helping Bush win effect. Most Nader voters would have had Gore as their second choice, so most of Nader's votes would have gone to Gore anyway in states where Nader is eliminated due to no one getting a majority in the first round.

I think we would see third party support (in the form of vote totals) increase significantly. Not overly dramatically, not overnight, but they'd start getting more votes, and we'd probably have at least a handful of Green and/or Libertarian Party members in Congress (maybe Socialist Party USA in a couple districts). Instant runoff voting would help create viable third parties, in my opinion.


I see your point, because this system would in a way, do away with wasted votes.

And I think it is time for some third parties to spring up. I think the most noticeable changes would be in state legislatures and such.
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The Andromeda Islands
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Postby The Andromeda Islands » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:18 pm

I'm not a fan of PR.

In many countries that have it, Governments don't last very long because no one party has a majority & has to form a coalition in the parliament to rule. There are several examples of countries that have several governments in a short time(Israel). There's also the examples of Belgium & Iraq where months go by before a working majority can take power.

PR might work in certain densely populated areas, but I don't recommend it on a national scale.
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