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CripDyke

Proportional Representation

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check out THIS LINK - especially the articles it links to...

 

So what I was proposing was using this system in the House of Rep's.

 

Each state still gets the same # of Rep's, but in each state WHICH Rep's are elected is determined by PR.

 

Obviously in states with 1 rep, it would still be (effectively) winner-take-all.

 

You could also do national PR for the HoR, but that's not my proposal. I still like the idea of local accountability with Reps responsible to the voters in a single State.

 

Even single states can have large populations. Over the whole US there might not be much individual accountability.

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This is most certainly a system that makes more sense than the one we have now. Thing is, would it really help to leave Congress and the Presidency the way it is now? I do admit that there would be little way for those two to effectively use PR, but it would still leave us with the current system, with only two parties. I could see, however, how it could get the names of some representatives out better... the question is, when was the last time a member of the House, as opposed to a Senator, was elected?

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kind of like how it used to be that the first place guy got to be president, and the runner up became the Veep?

 

Interesting. Certainly worth studying - but it has one flaw (or, rather, it fails to eliminate one of the many flaws with our current system)

 

Ready?

 

 

 

 

 

FLAW= Stupid, Dreg of Humanity, worthless Bozo's who run for office could actually end up there . . . In fact, in this system, just running ALMOST guarantess you a seat, if there were, say 50 Texas seats, and 60 people ran . . . even if 30 of them were Horrible choices, at least 20 of them get to be legislators . . .

 

Mind you, if there were a hundred, the odds would be better. And again, under our current system if there were 50 seats, 100 would run now, and we'd still proabbly get 20-30 total losers . . . so maybe I should just shut up now.

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We WOULD use it for Congress - just not ALL of congress.

 

Only the Senate & Pres would be chosen winner take all style.

 

And would it challenge the 2 party system??

 

You BET! Cuz people would be able to become national figures (speaker of the house, say? Newt Gingrich was pretty famous/powerful right?) through the H of Reps.

 

Then, after being well known, they could run for senate with the full backing & money of a Party with experience running other statewide elections.

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Good idea! I also think that presidents should serve just one 6 year term so that they do not need to wory about campaigning half-way though their first term and can actually do their jobs. However, almost all good ideas pertaining the election of public officials that will in any way, shape, or form allow others into the mix will not pass. The Foxes (Reps and Dems) are minding the hen house and no one else is going to join the fun if they can help it; and since they make the law, they can.

 

TS

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FLAW= Stupid, Dreg of Humanity, worthless Bozo's who run for office could actually end up there . . . In fact, in this system, just running ALMOST guarantess you a seat, if there were, say 50 Texas seats, and 60 people ran . . . even if 30 of them were Horrible choices, at least 20 of them get to be legislators . . .

 

Mind you, if there were a hundred, the odds would be better. And again, under our current system if there were 50 seats, 100 would run now, and we'd still proabbly get 20-30 total losers . . . so maybe I should just shut up now.

Well, from the sounds of it, you'd have to have at least 10% of the votes to be able to get a seat, if it's implemented properly. If you're talking about 37,000 people voting, that's 3700 votes. Even if the person is a fonzenoon, there's enough constituency behind him who want said fonzenoon in office, that they deserve the representation.

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We WOULD use it for Congress - just not ALL of congress.

 

Only the Senate & Pres would be chosen winner take all style.

Sorry... Mis-spoke. Meant "Senate" not "Congress". :)

 

Since the speaker of the house is the most senior member of the controlling party (am I remembering my Civics lesson right?) then we'd still be left with one of the big two as that powerful person.

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FLAW= Stupid, Dreg of Humanity, worthless Bozo's who run for office could actually end up there . . . In fact, in this system, just running ALMOST guarantess you a seat, if there were, say 50 Texas seats, and 60 people ran . . . even if 30 of them were Horrible choices, at least 20 of them get to be legislators . . .

 

Mind you, if there were a hundred, the odds would be better. And again, under our current system if there were 50 seats, 100 would run now, and we'd still proabbly get 20-30 total losers . . . so maybe I should just shut up now.

Comming from a country where we actually use this system, I can shed some light on the subject.

 

Reaperbryan is right, proportional representation will allow the weirdos to get seats. The good thing about this is that it allows you to get YOUR weirdo elected.

 

In Denmark (where I'm from), it takes 2 percent of the votes to get representation. Our System is dominated by two large parties:

 

The Social Democrats (29,1 % last election)

the "Left" Party (31,3 %)(the left party is actually a right wing party, but has it's name for historical reasons)

 

Then there are a lot of smaller parties:

"Radical Left" (5,2%) (is actually a middle party)

Conservatives (9,1%)

Center Democrats (1,8%)

Socialist Peoples Party (6,4%)

Danish Peoples Party (12%)

Christian Peoples Party (2,3%)

the Progress Party (0,6%)

Unity List (2,4%)

 

Only two of the parties didn't get enough votes for representation.

I voted for one of the small parties, and I'm happy the system works the way it does. I get to vote for the people I agree with (plenty to chose from as you see), and I don't have to worry too much about my vote being wasted.

 

Kim

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Since the speaker of the house is the most senior member of the controlling party (am I remembering my Civics lesson right?) then we'd still be left with one of the big two as that powerful person.

Actually...of the controlling COALITION of parties.

 

It's just that with only two parties that consider themselves opposed to each other, we only have 1 party coalitions most of the time.

 

Tho even in recent memory (2001) an independent cast the tying vote to determine which group was in power.

 

When you are the party with only 5 seats, but the other two coalitions are so closely balanced that whoever you ally with will control the House, you can negotiate from a position of strength.

 

In Germany, the greens (who had only 5% of seats) ended up having a lot of power by joining with the ?? Democrats (Social Democrats? Christian Democrats? I forget which party was their partner).

 

So, no. You can have a VERY small party, but get a lot of press if you are intelligent and play things to your strengths. AND even more press if the strongest two parties are balanced. It is not out of the question for such a person to become Speaker of the House...especially since Committee chairs still weild the majority of the power, and there wouldn't be enough people in the small parties to take all the chairmanships.

 

Most likely it would be similar to what happens in other countries: the leader of the small party would get a really choice plum - maybe the speakership, maybe a powerful committee to run - the second in the small party would get a lesser plum, and the rest of the small party would be expected to simply be glad they are in the majority.

 

This is all hypothetical, but you couldn't have such a system without some smaller parties being in the right place & time OCCASIONALLY. Thus there would be a steadily broadening base of power & number of parties.

 

 

 

Plus - you don't need a national big name to run for senate - you need a big name in your own state. And that's even easier to accomplish.

 

Anyway, i am NOT saying this is a perfect system. And it would be both fun and more productive to redesign the system from scratch. But this is much more doable and at the same time can have almost as large effect in the long run...but it would take a generation for the effects of change to truly add up, whereas a new constitution would change everything instantly.

 

I know that slow change is hard, but really...there is some usefulness in having things change slowly.

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