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Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    04 Aug '08 09:12
    There is a troubled country called Democratistan in which there are 4 ideologically different parties. In the elections the parties (lets call them A, B, C & D) get 27%, 26%, 25% and 22% of the vote and get respectively 27, 26, 25 and 22 seats in the parliament.

    Is this fair?
  2. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    04 Aug '08 11:51
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    There is a troubled country called Democratistan in which there are 4 ideologically different parties. In the elections the parties (lets call them A, B, C & D) get 27%, 26%, 25% and 22% of the vote and get respectively 27, 26, 25 and 22 seats in the parliament.

    Is this fair?
    On the face of it but there has to be more to it than that, like the population of each area.
  3. 04 Aug '08 12:09
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    like the population of each area.
    !?!!?
  4. 04 Aug '08 12:47
    Are you driving at the idea that the party with 22% has no political clout, despite almost having 1/4 of the votes?
    Any of the other two parties can band together and have more than 50% of the votes, essentially making the situation into a 3 party tussle and the poor old 22% is worthless.

    This assumes that all the members of each party vote according to the the official line of their party, and that they all bother to turn up on vote day and a whole host of other assumptions.

    Then theres the question of whether its fair or not. Some real world political systems allow one party to dominate with around 20% of the eligible voters balloting in their favor. So, I dunno, its probably fair. They all knew the deal going into the election.

    Phil.
  5. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    04 Aug '08 13:01
    But who decided on the electoral system? Not Party D!

    Is there a fair system for this situation?

    Even if party D's followers become fed-up with their disempowered party there is no incentive for any of the other parties to court D's supporters (since it would not make them more powerful in parliament)
  6. 04 Aug '08 13:37
    Its the big problem with these kind of systems - the only people who want to change it are those who aren't in a position to be able to.
    You can bet that if Party D had the big share of votes they wouldn't be complaining.

    So it seems fair in that, before the election, all of the parties have equal chances. They all have the opportunity to be in the driving seat.
    Party D just didn't get enough votes.

    Can you think of a better way of organising things?

    Phil.
  7. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    04 Aug '08 13:52
    The point of the question is that each of the parties has a completely different ideology. PR is fair in when parties broadly agree but what happens when the dont? (Consider Iraq or Serbia)

    Would it be better to give seats as follows?
    A - 40
    B - 30
    C - 20
    D - 10
    So that party D has some power?

    Is there a mathematical method for allocation of seats based on Power reflecting votes cast??
  8. Standard member forkedknight
    Defend the Universe
    04 Aug '08 13:55
    Originally posted by MrPhil
    Its the big problem with these kind of systems - the only people who want to change it are those who aren't in a position to be able to.
    You can bet that if Party D had the big share of votes they wouldn't be complaining.

    So it seems fair in that, before the election, all of the parties have equal chances. They all have the opportunity to be in the drivi ...[text shortened]... just didn't get enough votes.

    Can you think of a better way of organising things?

    Phil.
    Require more than 53% of the votes to pass certain things.

    It couldn't be everything, else nothing would get done if they were split 2:2, but it would help.
  9. Standard member forkedknight
    Defend the Universe
    04 Aug '08 13:56
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    The point of the question is that each of the parties has a completely different ideology. PR is fair in when parties broadly agree but what happens when the dont? (Consider Iraq or Serbia)

    Would it be better to give seats as follows?
    A - 40
    B - 30
    C - 20
    D - 10
    So that party D has some power?

    Is there a mathematical method for allocation of seats based on Power reflecting votes cast??
    How would that give party D more power?
  10. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    04 Aug '08 14:02
    Originally posted by forkedknight
    How would that give party D more power?
    D could prevent a BC coalition government having a majority.
  11. 04 Aug '08 16:15
    I would suggest, first off, that "fair" is not a well-defined word, and largely relative in many respects.

    However, onto the question at hand. I would argue that the primary principle of a democracy, and to some extent a democratic republic, is that each person holds moreorless the same percentage of say in decisions, represented in a democratic republic by a representative to vote in their place (for expediency).

    Based on that, it would seem that that dividing seats according to party percentages is the fairest and most accurate means of accomplishing this principle, regardless of how decisions work out.
  12. 04 Aug '08 17:04 / 2 edits
    Even if party D's followers become fed-up with their disempowered party there is no incentive for any of the other parties to court D's supporters (since it would not make them more powerful in parliament)
    I'm not sure I agree with this statement. Short term, you are right. However its always better to have more supports - theres no downside to having a larger following.
    The aim of each party is to have 51% of the seats to itself, so grabbing the remnants of party D is a good start.

    Phil
  13. Standard member irontigran
    Rob Scheider is..
    05 Aug '08 00:59
    the american electoral process sucks.
    its ironic that theyre trying to get different areas involved, but what happens when cali will always go one way? already over 10% is ignored.
    and it kills 3rd parties. green party in germany isnt too shabby, yet here theyre practically nonexistant (although theyve made some dumb choices lately)
  14. 05 Aug '08 01:16
    Originally posted by irontigran
    the american electoral process sucks.
    its ironic that theyre trying to get different areas involved, but what happens when cali will always go one way? already over 10% is ignored.
    and it kills 3rd parties. green party in germany isnt too shabby, yet here theyre practically nonexistant (although theyve made some dumb choices lately)
    One thing to consider is that even with a party, not everyone is unified on every topic, especially considering that regional differences in attitudes in different areas may override overall party beliefs.

    On the whole, one party will still tend to lean in a particular direction, but in one area, even those of the party may lean oppositely in a singular matter.

    Politics is very rarely a thing to be oversimplified too much.

    I will, however, agree that oftentimes third parties have a very tough time accomplishing much in an atmosphere where two major parties dominate the political landscape.
  15. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    05 Aug '08 06:27
    Originally posted by heinzkat
    !?!!?
    Was thinking about apportionment. If it would be like the US, there would be areas like Alaska with small populations and they would end up on the bottome of the power heap usually.