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Thread: The Case For Proportional Representation

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
    The regional elections are something like proportional, no?
    Maye. I'll have to research it some more. According to my Microcase explorit, in 2006 the only Liberal Democracy with a semi proportional system was Japan, but that could be wrong or it may have been changed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathaariancode View Post
    Maye. I'll have to research it some more.
    I was just looking. It combines aspects of both major models.

    The election of France’s regional councils combines proportional representation with a majority, or first-past-the-post, system. If no single party list wins an outright majority (as is almost invariably the case) in a first round of voting on March 14, a second round is required the next Sunday (March 21).

    Party lists need a minimum 10% of votes to make it into the second round. They are entitled to merge with other lists that have made the 5% mark in the first round. The winner of the second round picks up a majority prize equivalent to 25% of seats in the regional council. The remaining seats are shared out proportionally between the winning party and the following lists, provided they get at least 5% of votes. In the unlikely event of a perfect match between the top two parties, the one with the highest average candidate age takes the bonus.


    http://www.france24.com/en/20100312-...onal-elections
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    KC (11-03-2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
    I was just looking. It combines aspects of both major models.

    The election of France’s regional councils combines proportional representation with a majority, or first-past-the-post, system. If no single party list wins an outright majority (as is almost invariably the case) in a first round of voting on March 14, a second round is required the next Sunday (March 21).

    Party lists need a minimum 10% of votes to make it into the second round. They are entitled to merge with other lists that have made the 5% mark in the first round. The winner of the second round picks up a majority prize equivalent to 25% of seats in the regional council. The remaining seats are shared out proportionally between the winning party and the following lists, provided they get at least 5% of votes. In the unlikely event of a perfect match between the top two parties, the one with the highest average candidate age takes the bonus.


    http://www.france24.com/en/20100312-...onal-elections
    The French system is complex, but it does seem to give other parties a shot at political party, at least on the surface.
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    KC wrote:
    In the US, we tend to blame a lot of problems with elections on the media or on people's political attitudes. However, I think there are some problems inherent with the electoral system we've inherited from the English. In America, we've had two nationally viable political parties for most of our history as well as lower than average voter turnout. For many reasons, other Liberal Democracies don't experience these problems to the same extent as we do here in the US.
    You said that I might have something to add to this. I actually don't have much. I agree with your call for a proportional representation system. Our winner-take-all system is really indefensible. However, I say that simply so that people might more free to vote the way they actually want to. I think you may have missed something in your analysis: while there are a lot of countries that have broader multi-party systems, there are, in any halfway authentic democracy, invariably two MAIN parties in any given case and the two MAIN parties are always the party of capital on the one hand and the party of organized labor on the other. Labor versus capital. That is the essence of how politics break down: according to class interests. We in modern democracies have simply established a civil way for this conflict to be waged in the political arena. That is the essence of electoral politics. You can see it not just here with the Democratic Party (essentially the party of labor) and the Republican Party (essentially the party of capital), but everywhere that has a multi-party democratic system of politics in place. In Canada, while they have several parties that play a big role, the politics of who can actually lead a government still break down along the same essential two-party lines: the Conservatives (the party of capital) and the New Democrats (the party of labor). Same in Britain: basically it's the Conservatives (capital) versus Labour (labor, obviously). Same in France: basically it's the UMP (capital) versus the Socialists (labor). And we could really go on down the list of democratic, capitalist countries this way. Class-conscious workers lead one party, while class-conscious capitalists lead another. There's often complexity in the middle that renders society more authentically democratic, but this labor party / party of capital breakdown is really an absolute law of history as far as I can tell (at least in democratic countries). Proportional representation has yet to actually change that rule anywhere. It just gives you the opportunity to vote your conscience more freely and requires that politicians actually try for the popular vote rather than aiming to manipulate some other process (like electoral votes).

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    Quote Originally Posted by kathaariancode View Post
    The French system is complex, but it does seem to give other parties a shot at political party, at least on the surface.
    That's kind of what I meant earlier. Take the National Front, for example. The establishment had to co-opt an anti-migrant stance in order to undercut them.
    Whoever criticizes capitalism, while approving immigration, whose working class is its first victim, had better shut up. Whoever criticizes immigration, while remaining silent about capitalism, should do the same.


    ~Alain de Benoist


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    KC, your OP opens the door to the problem of low voter turn out and you hint that Proportional representation will solve that. However you haven't presented a corresponding map that proves that point.

    My information is that voter turn out is low universally. And in some cases, Australia and New Zealand [I understand] have brought in legislation forcing people to vote.

    What's the comparison? Does Proportional representation solve that problem? It was demonstrated here that the STB - single transferable ballot would not in the system proposed here.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fearandloathing View Post
    KC, your OP opens the door to the problem of low voter turn out and you hint that Proportional representation will solve that. However you haven't presented a corresponding map that proves that point.

    My information is that voter turn out is low universally. And in some cases, Australia and New Zealand [I understand] have brought in legislation forcing people to vote.

    What's the comparison? Does Proportional representation solve that problem? It was demonstrated here that the STB - single transferable ballot would not in the system proposed here.
    If you click on the first file I provided in the OP, there is a chart that shows points in three different categories. Each of those categories represents a different electoral family: Plurality, Semi Proportional, and Proportional Representation. These are umbrella terms for more familiar electoral systems, more familiarly known as "Winner Take All" or "Party List Proportional Representation."

    There is correlation between the electoral family of a country and the average voter turnout between 1945 and 2006. Correlation does not equal causation, but this seems intuitive: more people should vote when fewer people's votes are likely to be wasted.

    In the attachment in the OP, I controlled a countries development by including only Liberal democracies. These are mostly well established, fully developed post industrial economies. However, if you glance at the attachment included here, the same correlation seems to exist for democracies around the globe, with the PR column showing higher than average voter turnout averages in democracies from 1945 to 2006.

    I get all of this data from IDEA, which I downloaded for a political science course I took a couple years ago. How they've accumulated this data is beyond me-- I only have the tools to organize the info.
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