The election of smaller parties gives rise to the principal objection to PR systems, that they almost always result in coalition governments. Supporters of PR see coalitions as an advantage, forcing compromise between parties to form a coalition at the centre of the political spectrum, and so leading to continuity and stability. Opponents counter that with many policies compromise is not possible (for example funding a new stealth bomber, or leaving the EU). Neither can many policies be easily positioned on the left-right spectrum (for example, the environment). So policies are horse-traded during coalition formation, with the consequence that voters have no way of knowing which policies will be pursued by the government they elect; voters have less influence on governments. Also, coalitions do not necessarily form at the centre, and small parties can have excessive influence, supplying a coalition with a majority only on condition that a policy or policies favoured by few voters is adopted. Most importantly, the ability of voters to vote a party in disfavour out of power is curtailed.All these disadvantages, the PR opponents contend, are avoided by two-party plurality systems. Coalitions are rare; the two dominant parties necessarily compete at the centre for votes, so that governments are more reliably moderate; the strong opposition necessary for proper scrutiny of government is assured; and governments remain sensitive to public sentiment because they can be, and are, regularly voted out of power. However, the US experience shows that this is not necessarily so, and that a two-party system can result in a "drift to extremes", hollowing out the centre, or, at least, in one party drifting to an extreme.Nevertheless, on average, compared to countries using plurality systems, governments elected with PR accord more closely with the median voter and the citizens are more content with democracy.(source)
But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.It is necessary to consider separately these two hypotheses, each of which has a distinct branch of the argument corresponding to it. We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.
It's a system for children.
The idea of proportional representation requires, at least, a metaphor that is problematical: Is the mixture of urine and water best described as "urine diluted with water" or "water adulterated with urine"? [...]QuoteThe election of smaller parties gives rise to the principal objection to PR systems, that they almost always result in coalition governments.
The election of smaller parties gives rise to the principal objection to PR systems, that they almost always result in coalition governments.
such as if the party is allowed to collect all the votes centrally, treat its gained seats as a single sum and distribute it between the party members at the discretion of the party leadership (this is a widespread phenomenon in multi-party countries)
My general impression is that politicians in multi-party countries are more capable and willing of genuine cooperation. Filibustering occurs only when party leaders have a long-standing personal enmity or when a party that is viewed as fundamentally suspicious (like "nationalist extremists" in many European countries right now) gains seats in the parliament.
For the record, I haven't voted for a "list puller" in the past several elections, but for a candidate of my choice.
I meant the next stage after "list pulling": The number of seats obtained by the party are treated as a single sum and the seats are filled by the central decision of the party leader(s) regardless of how many votes the individual members got.
In social choice theory, Arrow's impossibility theorem, the general possibility theorem or Arrow's paradox is an impossibility theorem stating that when voters have three or more distinct alternatives (options), no ranked order voting system can convert the ranked preferences of individuals into a community-wide (complete and transitive) ranking while also meeting a pre-specified set of criteria: unrestricted domain, non-dictatorship, Pareto efficiency, and independence of irrelevant alternatives. The theorem is often cited in discussions of voting theory as it is further interpreted by the Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem.
The theory aside, voting systems can be compared. They are different, they will have different outcome, and they can greatly impact the nature of democracy in a country or an organisation. In particular they are more or less likely to be fair, based on the election criteria (and independent of being right, i.e. having my candidate winning). The British system, which the US has inherited, underperforms.
But has anyone shown that the first-past-the-post system can be made fair somehow, even theoretically?
How can people speak about "proportional representation" about "democratic processes" when oftenly, the biggest representation, abstention, is not even considered at all for determining results?
I'd mention referendums (for the very rare cases they get allowed) which are ignored when the outcome doesn't fit the agenda.
Politicians aren't experts on most subjects either, which is why there are all kinds of (semi-)governmental organizations in place to advise them on the right course of action.
BTW, what does "reprentation" mean?
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