Democracy for minorities.

December 2018

“There was a recent internal election for 9 places on the . . . committee. There were two or three ‘slates’ seeking those 9 places. The first-placed slate won all 9 available seats, despite getting 56% of the vote. Many of the other 44% of voters were not represented.”

“Did the voters have 9 votes each or one? And was the voting for slates or individual candidates?”

“Each voter had 9 votes, so many would be likely to vote for slates.

Minority voters would probably not have 9 representatives of their minority to vote for, and non-minority voters would be likely to give some of their votes to minority candidates.

So each voter would be likely to be giving most of her votes to candidates who weren’t representing her main interest. So the choice of minority representation would be dominated by non-minority voting.”

“A more appropriate way of choosing representatives for special interest groups would be a first-past-the-post ballot with one vote per voter. If, for example, there were 10 representatives chosen by this ballot, this would actually be a first-TEN-past-the-post ballot, and minorities would have a good chance of being well represented. So it would not be necessary to have representatives for specific identity groups. This would actually be more like proportional representation than first-past-the-post.”

“I don’t quite understand why your ballot idea would be proportional when it’s FPTP and how it would include minorities”

“For success in a first-past-the-post (FPTP) election about 40 percent of the vote is usually necessary.
In mixed-member-proportional systems only 5 percent is needed.
With a Single Transferable Vote, its more than 5 percent but less than 40 percent.

With my first-ten-past-the post idea, less than 10 percent of the vote would be needed. It would elect representatives of major minorities who manage to focus their support on one respected candidate.”

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