July 6, 2001
planks are discussed together because they are complementary in
the eyes of their advocates.
What is Proportional Representation? According to the
Center for Voting and Democracy,
representation (PR) is based on the principle that any group of
like-minded voters should win legislative seats in proportion to
its share of the popular vote. Whereas the winner-take-all
principle awards 100% of the representation to a 50.1% majority,
PR allows voters in a minority to win their fair share of
representation. There is a broad range of PR
systems. Some are based on voting for political parties,
others for candidates….
What is Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)? "IRV is a reform
that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, so
that in cases where there is no initial majority winner, a
runoff recount can be conducted without a new election to
determine which candidate is actually preferred by a majority of
Center For Voting and Democracy, What is
Proportional Representation? http://fairvote.org/pr/index.html
2 There is not the space to indulge a full
description of each type of PR system -- the reader is
encouraged to go to the sources. In a nutshell however,
the more predominant methods can be described thusly:
System -- A party receives the number of seats in a
legislature according to the percentage of the vote it
received. Thresholds can be established, based on
percentage of the vote, before seats are granted to the
Member System -- Half the legislature is elected from
single seat "winner-take-all" districts, the other
half from the List System.
Voting -- Voters rank candidates in order of
preference. "Once a voter's first choice is
elected or eliminated, excess votes are
"transferred" to subsequent preferences until all
positions are filled. Voters can vote for their favorite
candidate(s), knowing that if their candidate doesn't
receive enough votes their vote will "transfer" to
their next preference. With choice voting, every vote
counts and very few votes are wasted. Choice voting is
ideal for non-partisan elections like city councils.
This method is also called "Single Transferable
Vote" or "STV"." http://www.fairvote.org/pr/q_and_a.htm
(Author's note: Their site notes that Choice Voting PR was
tried earlier in the twentieth century and caused minorities
to win representation. Choice Voting PR is not common -- isolated to some city councils and school boards, and
interestingly, finalists for the Academy Awards.)
Instant Runoff Voting http://www.instantrunoff.com/irv.html
Copyright © Copyright © 2020, 2003, 2004
by Michael A. Wallace & America's Voices, Inc.
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Wallace is a registered Republican, a former
Eagle Scout, a Lifetime Member of the National Rifle
Association, a strong believer in Second Amendment rights, a
retired Marine officer, and a pro-life advocate –- all things
liberals seem to dislike. In addition to his affiliation with
Voices, Mike is a founding member of ConservaVets,
a conservative veteran's organization (which has since become Rally4America).
Mike uses thorough constitutional and historical research to analyze and
explain key moral and political issues of the day. He particularly
enjoys debunking the myths and lies perpetrated by the many liberal
groups who claim to speak for most Americans and by those who
misrepresent Constitutional principles to further their own agendas. E-mail
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