Re: poly: Re: Arrow's Social Choice Theorem / Borda count

From: <>
Date: Fri Apr 28 2000 - 15:30:57 PDT

> Personally, I think PR in the legislative elections was the
> principal constitutional flaw that brought Hitler to enough
> power by legal routes to launch his 1933 coup. It's also been
> one of the factors preventing Italy from having a government

But West Germany still uses PR today, without Hitlers. As does Israel, for
some amount of irony. And Israel had 1% threshold until recently; its
politics were somewhat unstable, but nothing like Italy.

And a PR-divided Congress wouldn't be the same as a divided Parliament. We
don't look to a stable majority in Congress as our gov't, but to the
President. Elections are on a fixed cycle; they can't be called for political
reasons. And we're already used to and somewhat happy with dividing Congress
and the White House; it's not so big a step to a Congress dominated by no
single party. Majorities would coalesce and change to pass bills, not bring
down the government.

Actually, the Speaker of the House might be the person least happy with this
scenario; he'd be in a position similar to a PR Prime Minister. But he's not
that important.

What I envision isn't normal PR (parties, or their lists of candidates get
votes, and candidates then get it.) We'd still have districts, because I
think Americans are used to having Their Representative, so a very evenly
distributed minor party could not have any seats. But certainly the intent is
to allow more parties -- well, more choices; more parties is just how the
choices organize themselves. And I guess in a sense the threshold is really
low; a party could get in with 1/800 national support, if the supporters all
lived in one district.

-xx- Damien X-)
Received on Fri Apr 28 15:32:36 2000

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