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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:22 PM
Original message
Proportional Representation.
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 09:30 PM by white_wolf
How do you all feel about abolishing our First-Past-The-Post election system and replacing it with a system of proportional representation where you vote for a party with a strictly adhered to platform and representatives are seated based on the % of votes their parties get in elections. Also I am basing this off the German system so 5% is the required amount to get seated. I realize this would require a lot of amendments to the Constitution, but I feel overall it would be a huge improvement to our democracy.
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TxVietVet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. It's got to be better than this bought-and-paid-for democracy we have now.
I firmly believe that if things don't change, in the near future, that issue may be decided by violence. Just a thought.
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
2. the Nazis, Larouchians, Constitution party and Communists would like that.
I don't see how it helps us, though.
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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I can see the Communists being helpful. At least they would
tell Wall. ST. to go tell hell. As would the other socialists and greens who got elected.
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. been mulling on that much lately
I would sure like to see something like that.
Like many I have had nothing but right wing yahoos representing(?) me in our state leg. for quite a while.
- ergo when i have a comment or question I may as well be in fucking Siberia.
- My state senator still, still does not know how to use email.
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. Rewriting the Constitution?
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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. This system would requrie some changes yes.
I don't see why that is a problem, unless you are opposed to the system itself which I understand. I realize it would be hard to amend it, but I'm asking if it could happen would you support it?
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. No, I wouldn't support it.
It sounds like Iraq. A few of these and a few of those and nothing is accomplished.
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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. No. It sounds like the democracies of western Europe.
It is a proven system, it works.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. I vote for individuals not parties and the party platforms do not fit what I want
I don't like this idea.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. The Single Transferable Vote system might suit you better
You rank candidates, not parties, in a multi-representative constituency, and if a candidate is successful enough to get 'overvotes' - more votes than needed to be elected - those are redistributed among the voters' later choices. This makes it easy to rank individuals you like highly, without tying yourself to just one party.

It's the voting system I'd like to see the most. It's reasonably proportional (how proportional it is depends on the number of representatives per constituency; more of them means it's more proportional, but also means a bigger ballot, and more chance of extremist parties getting someone elected. I think about 5 reps keeps it manageable, while meaning you'd need at least 16% support to get elected), while allowing voters to favour some candidates from one party over others, and mix in independents or other parties, if they want.

The disadvantage, from a typical DU point of view, is that the redistribution of votes almost requires computer counting to be fair (the votes can become fractional; to do it by hand you have to randomly select ballots to redistribute). But I don't see that as a problem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Theorectically I do like that method but I don't think it is practical
Aside from the problems with arriving at the final numbers for the election you talked about, there is the problem that I doubt most American voters would be bothered to try to understand how it works. And if they can't or won't understand it, they will not agree to it.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. You could be right; we're about to have a referendum on IRV in the UK
which is simpler still for the voter - there's just one MP per constituency, and one candidate per party, and you rank them. But one of the main objections raised is "it's too complicated".
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
8. i'd rather have instant run off voting
but there is also something to be said for some kind of proportional representation. If for example the whole state of PA elected our slate of reps proportionally, instead of having districts, then I would at least have something resembling representation, unlike now. But that would require a constitutional amendment, I'm sure.
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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I'll be completely honest here
I think the way the Constitution is written in regards to elections is very reactionary. It was ahead of its time 1787, but now it is like using Dos operating system in the age of Windows 7. It's outdated and needs to be fixed.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 05:08 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. After a quick look at the US consitution on House elections, I can't see what would stop it
I think a state could decide to use PR and put all of its members into one pool, just as a couple of states can have slightly different rules on how they apportion their presidential electoral college votes. It has to follow the laws on non-discrimination and so on, but switching to proportional representation would seem to be the best way possible of doing that - no district boundaries to draw at all.

What it would mean is that you wouldn't have one representative, covering one district, and some people think it's important to have that one-to-one correspondence.

The rules for the Senate are stricter, and would need a constitutional amendment, I'd think.
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IndyPragmatist Donating Member (556 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 06:01 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I believe you are right...
I don't believe the constitution would prevent proportional rep. I think it's something that needs to be done in the HOR, but it's very unlikely that will ever happen.

Think about it. Both parties would be conceding seats to lesser parties. They will never willingly let this happen. The two party system keeps things the ways the parties like it, and they won't allow anything to change that.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 05:38 AM
Response to Original message
12. Works great if you eliminate voting for individuals and only allow voting by party slate
Instead of a complicated farrago, why not go with a reform that has actually been proven to work in the US? That is to say, fusion voting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_fusion

What with everyone bitching about computers in elections, you want to make everything even more complicated because why?
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. I don't see that fusion voting makes much practical difference
The parties have to agree beforehand on the candidate; it does allow the relative popularity of the two (or more) parties to be measured relative to each other, but it still comes down to the one person who gets the most votes in one district winning. The OP did say they wanted "a strictly adhered to platform"; fusion voting means you have, technically, 2 or more platforms for just one candidate. It does have some of the effects of Instant Runoff voting, but it's not a proportional system (neither is IRV, for that matter).
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. Tell that to the New York Working Families Party
They have ridden fusion voting to being a major player in the NY state legislature. I have not seen even one instance in the US where PR has had a similar impact.
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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. PR has never been tried in any US state.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. It's been tried in a number of cities and counties, to exactly zero effect
Pierce County (WA State) just shitcanned PR because of poor implementation on voting machines. PR is an extremely low priority for me compared to getting serious auditing regimens in place in WA counties.
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
19. I like the New Zealand system:
Edited on Fri Apr-15-11 04:08 PM by Hosnon
Two votes: one for party, and one for the party member you want should your party win.

However, I saw a Brit on Bill Maher lament that parliamentary systems do not allow for young blood (e.g., Obama). You have to be a life-long politician to make it to the top in such a system.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Meh - David Cameron became PM just 9 years after becoming an MP
Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour party, has only been an MP for under 6 years; Nick Clegg, the leader of the Lib Dems, has been an MP for the same amount of time, and in the European parliament for just 5 years before that.
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. That's not bad. nt.
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