Principles of Electoral Reform

By Michael Dummett | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13
Proportional Representation

IN this book, we have concentrated primarily on how to achieve true representation for local electorates and for the national electorate as a whole, and secondarily on how to discourage tactical voting. A choice of an electoral system should be made with an eye to other questions as well. To ask whether any one system chooses the most representative candidates is to treat the candidates as given; but which candidates stand for election depends upon the number and identity of the political parties that sponsor them. We must therefore also ask which effects various electoral systems have upon the parties. Do they encourage parties to adopt platforms that approximate to the political centre, or ones that appeal to holders of more extreme opinions? Do they create strong incentives for parties to maintain their cohesion, or do they tempt them to break into fragments? Do they make it hard to launch a new party, or vain to keep a small one in existence, or do they, conversely, foster a proliferation of parties whose policies often differ only marginally from those of some of their rivals?

The answers to these questions are connected with one

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Principles of Electoral Reform
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • To Maurice Salles v
  • Preface vii
  • Abbreviations x
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter 1 - The Dual Purpose Of Elections 1
  • Chapter 2 - How to Think About Electoral Systems 6
  • Chapter 3 - Pr and The Alternative to It 18
  • Chapter 4 - The Dual-Vote Device 28
  • Chapter 5 - Who Will Win? Who Ought to Win? 36
  • Chapter 6 - Majority Preferences 47
  • Chapter 7 - Rival Criteria 58
  • Chapter 8 - Systems Based on Criteria 75
  • Chapter 9 - The Alternative Vote 89
  • Chapter 10 - The Wasted Vote 109
  • Chapter 11 - Multi-Member Constituencies 121
  • Chapter 12 - How to Do Better Than Stv 138
  • Chapter 13 - Proportional Representation 158
  • Chapter 14 - The Principles of Electoral Reform 174
  • Further Reading 187
  • Index 191
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