Ernest Naville

On 23 September 2011, in Front Page, PR History, by jlundell

Our front page features a quote from Ernest Naville, “In a democratic government the right of decision belongs to the majority, but the right of representation belongs to all.” Who is Ernest Naville, and where does the quote come from? Naville was born in 1816 in Geneva, Switzerland, and most of his writings are theological […]

Matthew Yglesias: Proportional Representation Can Ease Redistricting Woes

On 1 June 2011, in Front Page, News, by jlundell

Matthew Yglesias has a nice PR post on his Think Progress blog. It’s basic stuff, but the basic stuff bears repeating. Washington, D.C. is currently mired in some controversy over the need for post-census redrawing of our Ward boundaries. I’ve also been reading some analysis of the new congressional district plan out of Democratic-controlled Illinois, […]

Semi-Proportional Electoral Methods

On 4 December 2010, in Front Page, PR Technical, by jlundell

I’ve posted a new page in the PR Basics section: Semi-Proportional Electoral Methods. Semi-proportional methods, such as the limited or single non-transferable vote (SNTV) or cumulative voting, sometimes proposed to encourage minority representation, have the serious flaw that they achieve proportionality only when groups of voters can cooperate to implement voting strategies. To the extent […]

List-STV PR: a hybrid proportional representation system

On 1 December 2010, in Front Page, PR Technical, by jlundell

Proportional representation systems fall into one of two groups: List PR and STV PR, each with a range of variations. List PR and STV PR have distinctive advantages and disadvantages. Here, I describe List-STV PR a novel hybrid of List PR and STV PR that combines the best features of each. STV PR gives voters, […]

PR and constituency representation

On 7 October 2010, in Front Page, PR Resources, by jlundell

Allan Ides’ paper (see the previous post) includes a discussion of the pros & cons of single-member plurality elections vs proportional representation. In that discussion, Ides replies to the frequently heard objection that, under PR, a voter has no single elected representative to turn to for constituent services. On the other hand, it is worth […]

Approximating Democracy: A Proposal for Proportional Representation in the California Legislature

On 7 October 2010, in Front Page, News, PR Resources, by jlundell

Allan Ides, of the Loyola Law School Los Angeles, has a new paper making a case for a unicameral California legislature elected using mixed-member proportional representation. We’ll have more to say about the proposal later, but for now, here’s a summary and a link to a downloadable copy of the paper. The State of California […]

Habent PM

On 13 September 2010, in Elections, by jlundell

Australia and Julia Gillard, that is, three weeks after the election that resulted in neither major party having a majority. It’s a bit curious that we’re seeing negotiated coalition governments all over the place (well, Australia and the UK, anyway) under non-PR systems (Australia uses PR for their upper house, but IRV/AV and single-member districts […]

Reference STV rules

On 10 September 2010, in Front Page, PR Resources, by jlundell

You’ll find a new addition to the site under the PR Resources menu: Reference STV Rules, still under construction but ready for browsing. While STV itself is much simpler than most people think (if they think about that kind of thing, anyway), getting a specific rule exactly right is a subtle matter, and many organizations […]

If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?

On 28 August 2010, in Front Page, PR History, by jlundell

Or: If proportional representation is so wonderful, why doesn’t everybody use it? The answer, of course, is that (nearly) everybody does. Below is a list of countries that use PR for national elections (source: Wikipedia). If we included countries that use PR for at least some local elections, the list would be considerably longer, and […]

PR in the real world: Australia

On 25 August 2010, in Elections, Front Page, News, by jlundell

Want to understand the essence of proportional representation in a minute or two? Look no farther than the results of the Australian Federal elections held on Saturday 21 August. Like the US, Australia has a two-house legislature, with a Senate with 12 seats per state (and four territorial seats), half of which is elected at […]