Sientifik method of elektions.


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Ad hok aditional members.

In Britain's February 1974 jeneral elektion, the Liberals won 14 syts first past the post. But the vots for ther kandidats ran at 19% of the total vot, worth over a hundred extra syts on a party-proportional kount.

The symingly simpl and obvius anser to this 'injustis' was to kondukt that kount to giv the Liberals aditional members. The national campain for elektoral reform was launch'd in 1975.

But asking 'Why Electoral Change?' Maude and Szemerey konkluded:

Least of all do we believe that there is anything 'fair' - let alone useful - about making a major constitutional change only to suit the current interests of one or two minority parties. The national interest transcends these, and ought to be allowed to prevail.

An ad hok hypothesis is an idea brot in to defend a theory from being faulted; an idea wich kan not lojikly be deriv'd from, and so justify'd by, that theory. The idea of aditional members fits Carl Hempel's kriterion ( in 'The Philosophy Of Natural Science' ) of an ad hok hypothesis myrly to saiv som kurent konseption against advers evidens, without being lojikly justify'd by kurent ideas, and without ofering a nw and mor diskriminating test to ad to our nolej.

The singl member system's elekting a governing party on a majority of syts is the kurent konseption. Its dis-proportionat results ar the advers evidens. But proportionaly shering syts for party vots is not lojikly justify'd by a governing party majority system of winer taks al. Ad hok aditional members from 'party' vots do not giv mor diskriminating test of voters' individual choises, wich wud ad to our nolej of publik opinion.

Insted, the elektion of aditional members myrly presums a partisan kount upon the ambiguity of the spot vot, as for a person or the party they belong to. This dos not sufer sientifik disprwf of a supos'd impersonal partisanship of the voters.

The partisan presumption on individual chois is suported by the komon kinds of rong rysoning, expos'd in any text-bwk on lojik. Typikal works on sientifik method swn introdus, as gIding prinsipls, the nyd to avoid the falasys of 'beging the question' and 'ambiguus terms'.

For, a sientifik theory must not presum wat uon is supos'd to be trIing to prov. And a sientifik experiment must not be kondukted in such ambiguus terms that it kud be held to myn any-thing and therfor provs no-thing.

In an elektoral test of publik opinion, the ambiguus terms of the spot vot ar such that it kan myn a chois, either for an individual or his party or both. It kan even myn neither, if the spot vot is myrly a taktikal vot to kyp out som dislIk'd kandidat, at al kosts. The spot vot, kounted as a party vot, begs the houl question of partisanship among the elektorat.

Korporat voting for a 'party' is unsientifik voting for an unobservabl. Nor nyd it folow that voting for a party kandidat implIs voting for others in his party. This wud only be lojikal if al the kandidats of a party on a list wer politikal klons; and, if ych party wer a diferent politikal spesys that kudn't be kros'd with the other.
Party list systems wud hav us belyv that party members ar pepl of the saim quality with the saim polisys, hw hav nothing in komon with pepl and polisys from other partys.

Maude and Szemerey dismis'd the 'fasIl argument' that voters wud lIk to vot for uon list kandidat as much as an other. That proportionaly kounted party vots fairly 'reflekt the viws of the elektorat' is 'non-sens'.

Politicians' over-welming konsideration may be for ther party karyrs, as Thucydides dekry'd.
Perhaps the pepl hav ther own prioritys for kanibalising the konstitution. Andrew Marr ( 'Ruling Britannia' ) sys lokal elektions as mak-shift referendums against kurently unpopular government polisys.
Singl-member jeneral elektions obskur personal with party chois. But by voting for the party with the prefer'd lyder, they may snyk bak in the most important personal chois - a presidential elektion, that Britain's party system of government is not supos'd to hav. Tho, John Mackintosh's punch-lIn, to 'The British Cabinet,' was: Britain now has 'PrIm Ministerial government'.

Thys ar but intimations to the enterprising, beyond party flat-land, of hiden dimensions of elektoral frydom.

The Aditional ( Konstituensy- ) Member System.

In 1976, the Hansard Sosiety ment to konvey by 'aditional' members that they wud stil be responsibl to konstituents lIk singl members. Akordingly, under-represented partys wud hav the apropriat proportion of ther kandidats elekted, hw wer the best runers-up in singl member konstituensys.

In 1977, Robert Newland, of the Elektoral Reform Sosiety, delv'd into the inequitabl konsequenses of having sekond ( or third ) past the post MPs. Vernon Bogdanor folow'd-up ther 'anomalys', in 'The People And The Party System,' alredy sujesting by 198l that the Aditional Member System ( as such ) was no longer a serius kontender for reform. This now apyrs to be the konsensus.

How-ever, it is instruktiv to glans at wer this version of AMS gos rong. In trIing to rekonsil the simpl majority and party proportional prinsipls, AMS korupts both of them. Aditional members kan proportionaly prevent simpl majoritys form a uon-party government. They also kreat dis-proportionat representation in a singl member system.

Aditional members, lIk singl members, wud be luky nominys in konstituensys wer ther respektiv partys ar relativly popular. Wors stil, an MP mIt bekom unpopular enuf to lws a syt, yet be elekted as an aditional member.

Aditional members wud be elekted on having a biger proportion of vots than kolygs in biger singl member konstituensys, hw won mor vots for ther party. An aditional member has no chans to prov he kud win, by voters' preferment, a substantial enuf proportion of suport to warant his elektion, wich wud nesesitat being in a multi-member konstituensy.
( In other words, AMS was a fail'd atempt to by-pas the singl transferabl vot. )

The Aditional ( Party List ) Member System: the Dubl Vot.

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British reformers, hw wanted to kyp the singl member system, had houp'd aditional members kud be drawn from konstituensys, insted of impersonal party lists. The German Dubl Vot givs a sekond spot vot for just such lists. Faling bak on this system is a tasit admision of failur to mor than haf-ofer the British pepl personal representation ( of even the most limited or monopolistik singl-member kind ).
The Germans, themselvs, hw adopted an aditional member system, after the war, didn't resort to the sekond vot, for lists, til 1953.

Ad hok aditional konstituensy members ar ment to be a prop for the funktional theory of government by simpl majoritys. The theory is mor important than the ad hok saving klaus, just as a hous is mor important than a butres to saiv it faling down in an emerjensy.

Uons the hous syms saif again ( such as from revolutionary doktrins ) the prop may be taken away. Sir Ian Gilmour's 'Inside Right' expres'd such a houp. Tho, he didn't revert from AMS, with the 1979 Tory viktory, as Douglas Hurd did.

List And Additional List Systems Chek'd For Government Levels.

But it must be said that the progres of siens, or dependabl nolej, depends on developing a theory to pas the test of al the konditions it may be subjekted to. British, lIk German, Euro-elektions ar set to hav only party list members, not aditional to singl members. Thus, proportional partisanship usurps singl member representation. On the previus analojy, this end-result of the ad hok viwpoint is to demolish the hous, lyving the voters to shelter under the butres.

In an other-wIs wIs reminisens, 'The Dilemma Of Democracy,' Lord Hailsham sujested that diferent voting methods be trI'd for diferent levels of government. But this aktualy defyts the purpos of sientifik investigation. Politicians naturaly arn't going to employ voting methods for elektions that show-up their obvius draw-baks. That wud militat against tolerabl government and only show-up the lyders to be pepl of the pwrest jujment.

Therfor, the yus of varius voting methods implIs ther alokation to the government levels wer ther failings ar les obtrusiv. ( The Plant report's advokating partikular systems on prinsipl is an apolojy for this. ) Unfortunatly, it has also ment supresion of ther unsatisfaktory natur.

In 1997, Labor MEPs Ken Coates and Hugh Kerr wer denI'd membership privilejes for a yer, and efektivly driven out of the party, for refusing to sIn a 'gaging order' on a sentralist PR system, for futur British Euro-elektions, not diskus'd with the publik. Tw other Labor MEPS, Alex Falconer and Michael Hindley, fais'd being penalis'd for six months for refusing to sIn a dokument baning kritisism of government polisy.

This is in kurius kontrast to the Labor government's admirably apt and dis-interested terms of referens to an independent komision on voting systems, in 1998.

Ken Coates is nown as a long-standing left-wing rIter for industrial demokrasy. Posesing partnership with the workers explains wI Germany's post-war labor relations so much beter than Britain's. This important but neglekted topik shud be parley'd.

The Labor MEP whip's fors'd konformity antisipats the lot of party list MEPS:

List MPs are prisoners of the system. According to Mr Robert Hendrick, a Belgian MP representing a small middle-class shopkeepers' party ( as Belgium has no five per cent electoral threshold ), they are civil servants of the party leadership and of the interest groups behind the party. They have to keep their noses clean with the party leaders and the interest groups to get the most important jobs in their parties and to be well placed on the list next time. Sincere politicians, who campaign for issues and try to implement ideals says Hendrick, tend to be put low on party lists - or put out to grass entirely.
Under this system Sir Winston Churchill would almost certainly not have been in the House of Commons in 1940!

( Maude and Szemerey p.27-8 )

Kompar the folowing quotation:

I could recount what I have seen and heard in other countries, where this kind of inquisition tyrannises; when I have sat among their learned men, for that honour I had, and been counted happy to be born in such a place of philosophic freedom, as they supposed England was, while themselves did nothing but bemoan the servile condition into which learning amongst them was brought;

( John Milton's 'Areopagitica.' )

Unkombin'd, party list systems ar never propos'd for British jeneral elektions. We no they ar not apropriat. Yet 'gud Europeans' and bad demokrats foist them on British Euro-elektions. Maude and Szemerey, p. 38:

The party machines knew approximately what percentage of the national vote their parties could expect to have. They could therefore be sure that, say, the first 15 or 20 on their list would be elected ... The voters had only a marginal influence, deciding the exact dividing line between the parties.
In France, therefore, fewer than 100 people actually decided who were to be the 81 members of the European Parliament representing the country's 53 million population.

As Britain shuns strait party lists for jeneral elektions, a kombin'd system has not byn trI'd for Euro-elektions. Germany dosn't so yus the Dubl Vot, bekaus ther ar tu fw European syts, for the dis-proportionat results first past the post to be korekted by enuf aditional members. The fwer and larjer the singl member konstituensys, the mor lIkly they ar to aproximat the national swing of voters' suport, and so nyrly al go to the lyding party.
The inkonsistensy of the tw axioms or lyding prinsipls, singl member party monopolys and partisan shers of syts maks the Dubl Vot inherently unstabl.

This system's 'korektion' may not only be insuficient but inapropriat. An AMS wud diskriminat unfairly against independents in lokal elektions, bekaus only under-represented partys kan be kompensated by aditional members. Also, the independens of party kounsilors on lokal isyus kud prejudis ther standing on ther partys' lists.

Suporters of a kombin'd system kounter'd that no voting method is suitabl for al government levels ( wich is fals ). They hav given-up on the sientifik endevor to find a jeneral system of elektions. A houl tradition from John Stuart Mill to Enid Lakeman exists to point it out to them. And obvius failurs to do the elektoral jobs requir'd at diferent levels is a shur sIn that the Dubl Vot is a fals theory of elektions.

Basson and O'Connor, in 'Symbolic Logic,' for instans, stait the axioms of a theory must be tru in relation to ych other, so they can lojikly deriv mor ideas and inter-relat them into a koherent system. The purpos of the exersis is so an idea is not tested in isolation but as lending kredens to a houl body of nolej.

But the Dubl Vot is lIk an inkompatibl marij hws partners hav nothing in komon and dis-agry with ych other at every turn. Hw wud want to mary som-uon - in a fail'd atempt - to mak up for ther short-komings? On the other hand, hw'd want to mary a partner supos'd to kompensat for uon's own natur, as if it was som-thing to apolojis for? Hw wud want a korektiv partner, especialy if the 'korektion' is an inapropriat presumption?

Ad Hok Re-Korektion Of The 5% Threshold.

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The formal viw-point of the Dubl Vot is that the lists ar equal partners with konstituensys. They hav haf the MPs and ther own vot. But the Dubl Vot is stil a kompensatory system, even if the kompensating butres is held in equal estym to the hous. The Dubl Vot is a 'kompensated partys system' that apyrs to giv equal trytment to the inferior funktion of kompensation.

Germany's 5% threshold of the popular vot for party lists to win any syts is to prevent smal extremist partys holding up larjer partys to ko-alition ransom. The Skotish parliment is to get the threshold an other way.
Skotland is to hav slItly les list members than singl members. Ther is no mor basis for just this balans of the tw kinds of MPs. Ther is no basis for ther being tw klases of MPs. In a demokratik sosiety, MPs, and therfor ther voters, shud be klyrly equal, not of an ambiguus status towards ych other.
( Welsh elektions with a Dubl Vot ar to hav yet a diferent mix, with only uon-third of the members from the lists. )

A larj majority ( of supos'd partisans ) proportionaly represented efektivly diktats to a smal minority, by exkluding them from the system. The 'elektiv diktatorship' of the simpl majority system has not byn vanquish'd. The implikation is that the Dubl Vot is tu vulnerabl to unstabl ko-alitions other-wIs.

The monopoly of the proportional kount, partys ar given, kan not be kary'd out konsistently for fyr of the praktikal konsequenses to government-forming with this system of partisan privilej.

Pretending that Dubl Vote/ AMS isn't an ad hok kompensated partys system only lyds to an other ad hok 'korektion', a re-korektion by the 5% threshold.

The threshold may hav denI'd militants a 'vois' other than that of explosiv sub-version. But the threshold sertainly split the vot, for a not unatural desir to saiv the world, betwyn an emerjing Gryn party and ther sympathisers, the FDP. In som Land elektions, neither achyv'd any representation with wel over 5% of the vots betwyn them. This anomaly kud hav byn avoided with transferabl voting.

For the saik of argument, we supos the German Dubl Vot is the best way we no how to patch-up existing elektoral theory. How wel, or badly, then do the tw axiomatik hafs of the Dubl Vot re-akt upon ych other to justify ther kombination?
This is diskus'd next.

The Dubl Vot: 1) Efekt On The Lejislatur.

The Germans belyv'd the British singl member system ofer'd personal representation to balans against ther vot only for partys. The Dubl Vot ofers a spot vot for a personal kandidat and a spot vot for a party list of kandidats. But tw separatly kounted vots dyms them inkompatibl funktions, efekting an arbitrary ban on the nolej of uon with respekt to the other.
No sientifik experiment wud be dym'd valid under such inadequatly kontrol'd konditions of testing personal as distinkt from party chois. Enid Lakeman said 'its personal element is ilusory'.

i) The 'Personal' Vot

In singl member konstituensys, a personal chois of kandidats kan not be mayd with respekt to the party of uon's chois, bekaus ther is only uon person per party standing. Personal vots kan not be split betwyn tw kandidats of the saim party. But the standing-down of a party's kandidat, or a nw party kandidat, kud re-distribut the voting enuf to chanj wich party's kandidat kaim first past the post. In short, ther is potential vot-spliting betwyn partys.

An oligarkik trap awaits with regard to the first X-vot, if Britain folows the German model. The number of singl member konstituensys wud be haf'd. A shIr lIk Worcestershire wud hav tw ( insted of for ) singl members.
( Wer-as the much-malIn'd singl transferabl vot wud be lokal to the shIr as a for-member konstituensy.)

Lokal kaukus re-selektion of haf the singl members wud be a 'musikal chairs' skrambl for thos fwer, safer syts. Demokrasy bekoms a ruber stamp, lIk the monarky.
( Wer-as Vernon Bogdanor says, STV is beter than primarys. Al the voters wud be abl to order a chois of several kandidats from ych party. )

Larjer konstituensys, being mor typikal of the national piktur, wud fal mor often to the marjinaly lyding party, with simpl majoritys of rather les than 50% or 40%. ( Kompar 80% representation with 4 STV-elekted MPs. )
In 1983, 61% of the syts went to 42% of the vots for uon party. But Britain kud expekt mor dis-proportionat representation from its haf'd number of singl members than kaus'd al the fus about distorting the pepl's wishes, in the first plas.

Sins the sekond X-vot kan be yus'd for the PR of a third party, this mIt enkuraj taktikal voting for the les dislIk'd of the tw main partys, in singl member konstituensys. Jujing by Britain's 1997 elektion, taktikal voting is alredy akyut. Larjer singl member konstituensys ar les winabl by smaler partys.

In Germany, the third party, with about 10% of the vot, swn never won a singl member konstituensy. This is an even mor drastik put-down than arous'd a reforming sympathy for British Liberals, hw at lyst got a tou-hold and bilt-up lokal power bases in the pyurly singl member system.

Wat kan be said against the singl member system kan be said with redubl'd fors against it as haf of a kombin'd system. In the 1983 jeneral elektion, the Liberal-SDP Alians, with its even distribution of suport thru-out the kuntry, kud hav expekted les than haf its myr 3 1/2% ( 23 ) singl members for 25%+ the national vot. The Dubl Vote wud hav given the Alians almost al its quarter of the syts as list members.
Just bekaus of ther les konsentrated suport than Labor, on 28% the vots, the Alians wud hav lwk'd a laim-dog party that nyded helping over the elektoral stIl.

The Dubl Vot's so-kal'd personal representation wud mor exaktingly impos uon of tw big party nominys mainly with a job for lIf in saif syts. For the 1979 jeneral elektion, the national kampain for elektoral reform ges'd, on party swings, to within 4 seats, wat kandidats wud be elekted.

The Dubl Vot amplifys the gryvans against a singl member system to redres it. The patient's having to endur mor pain is tryted as a myns of being mayd beter.

ii) The 'Party' Vot.

The sekond spot vot of the German system may be a kyur wors than the disys, making the 'personal' vot elektivly myningles. Voters 'chws-out' no-uon, if the rejekted konstituensy kandidats ar sav'd for the lists from the les saif syts. If the third party only put its most popular kandidats in singl member konstituensys for 'personal' vots, they wud hav the lyst chans of being elekted. They hav to hav plases on the list as wel. So, the big partys' konstituensy kandidats, tu, kan hardly be denI'd that saifty net.

The typikal prosedur for a party list vot is: Yu hav a vot on a party list; yu may plas yor vot against an individual kandidat on that list; therfor yor vot kounts towards elekting any-uon on that list. This is the falasy of 'ilisit major' in the sylojism, wer a major term is ilejitimatly distributed in the konklusion.

The alternativ to the German kaukus-order'd list is to elekt the individual kandidats with the most X-vots on a party list. If the party is proportionaly entItl'd to, say, thry aditional members, the first thry kandidats past the post on the party list ar elekted. It is posibl that the third kandidat got no personal list vots, yet he wud stil be 'elekted' to mak-up the party's proportional entItlment.

In the Komons debait on the ( unkombin'd ) Rejonal List for the 1979 Euro-elektions, Labor's Hom Sekretary had to admit the posibility of List members without uon vot by ther naim.

Most European kuntrys yus kaukus-order'd lists with the spot vot exersising som first past the post influens. Maude and Szemerey point out how inefektiv this is. In 1979, '22 of Belgium's 24 MEPs came from the top of their respective party lists. Seven of those elected had fewer personal votes than unsuccessful candidates below them.'

Just as the Dubl Vot's konstituensy vot fails to kontrol for split voting betwyn partys, the list vot fails to kontrol for split voting within partys. In neither kais dos the order of elektion akount for the aksident or hapen-stans of hw stands. For exampl, konstituensy vots mIt be split betwyn tw left wing partys, leting in a rItist party kandidat. A list vot mIt be split betwyn tw rIt wingers, leting in a left winger.

Thys tw kinds of party-monopolis'd vots ar for a singl party syt konstituensy and party-exklusiv list of kandidats.

Party list systems ar in a dilema of the oligarkik or split-voted elektion of individuals. Party lists lak a koherent prinsipl of elekting representativs. ( Transferabl voting is such a prinsipl of proportional representation. That is the diferens betwyn a sientifik and an unsientifik elektoral prosedur. )

The Dubl Vot: 2) Effect On The Exekutiv.

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Not only dos the Dubl Vot under-mIn the lejislativ funktion of personal vots ( how-ever limited ). Thys simpl majoritys also sys to kount desisivly in ther exekutiv funktion of elekting a majority party government.

The party vot is ment to reflekt al sektions of opinion but laks the lokal konstituensy chanels for this lejislativ funktion. Insted, the party vot taks over the personal majority vot's exekutiv funktion. Aditional members from the lists go mainly to a third party, under-represented by singl syts. They usualy hold the balans of power, as king-makers of either the first or sekond partys. The mainly third party aditional members ar nothing if not exekutiv MPs. The konstituensy members ar pre-eminently lejislativ MPs.

( After-nout: In short, the tw vots and tw klases of MPs, put lejislativ and exekutiv funktions at kros-purposes, in self-kontradiktory aditional member systems. )

Anti-reformers belyv konstituensy MPs a beter klas than list MPs. But rejonal list MPs may hav mor jeneral dutys, lIk jenerals out-ranking MPs detail'd to the konstituensys. Remov'd from the publik, they ow ther alejans to the party list manajers.

The Dubl Vot is an absurd exekutiv mekanism. The way the German system squyz'd the Federal Demokrats out of the singl member system may hav destroy'd the kredibility of any but tw main partys as big players. Yet neither of the big tw kan mov without the konfirm'd stwj in the system.

It is not sertain wether Britain wud setl down to the saim tw party system in ych rejon or nation of the UK. ( As it is, the Keltik frinj ensurs a multi-party system. ) So, the klasik kritisism of Kontinental 'PR' kud aplI to a British Dubl Vot. Several partys kud spend months working ther way thru varius ko-alition kombinations. For this ryson, unstabl government is inherent in any party-proportional kount, despIt an atempt at its marjinal supresion with a threshold.

( A transferabl vot of order'd chois for kandidats of diferent partys konfers a majority on a prefer'd ko-alition, if nesesary. This way voters elekt the government. )

Supos Britain did hav just thry ky partys. Wud uon ( posibly squyz'd ) Senter party be a fors for 'moderation' with only an unpalatabl chois betwyn tw polaris'd party manifestos, it kan hav litl influens on? Every AMS elektion yilds a Midl-man party the undemokratik chois of uon 'extrym' after an other. This sakrifis of demokrasy to the Senter is not so much a kontrol of instability as a third party kaukus' chosen kors of instability.

The senter party kud bekom a prey to left or rIt wing infiltration, or koruption, not ideolojikal, myrly stagnant. Any system with a narowly undemokratik basis of power is vulnerabl to manipulation. Kompar the sub-version of the pyurly singl member system's lokal kaukuses -- a posibility that remains with thys monopolistik konstituensys in a kombin'd system.

The Dubl Vot fals tu short of jenuinly demokratik arbitration for even politicians to aksept and get on with the job of government. Konstitutional unsetlment awaits in vasilation betwyn tw inadequat and kontradiktory konseptions of demokrasy, by simpl majority and/or proportional partisanship.
This is bekaus ther is no lojikal prinsipl to akomodat them, as transferabl voting akomodats preferens to proportion.

In West Germany, 1966, the Grand Alians of Christian Demokrats and Social Demokrats intended chanjing to the British system, to kut out the Midl-man party's aditional members. In frustration at ko-alition flux from party lists, Italy brot in singl members. Sins the war, France has twIs reverted from party lists to a singl member system ( with the Sekond Balot ).

Indikativ of this krisis of indesision is a European Polisy Forum study, in July 1997, that stated: Adopting a system of proportionaly representativ voting may hav advers konsequenses for gud government.

Australia pionyr'd elektoral theory and praktis ( despIt politikal abuses such as the kompulsory voting of al preferenses ). But New Zealand has no reform tradition, a sosiety for that purpos only being herd of by 1979. The New Zealand Labor government's elektoral komision rekomended AMS, wich was duly pas'd in a referendum.

But the Labor lyder, visiting Britain, erly in 1997, komplain'd that proportional representation ( myning the AMS ersatz PR her party mayd law ) is lIk the bronz medalist at the Olympik gaims desIding wich of the tw front runers shud tak the gold and silver.

Labor ( NZ ) nw the FDP yus'd ther power of koup d'etat to switch, without elektion, from ther leftward-moving Social Demokratik partner, to put the Christian Demokrats in ofis.
Of kors, British Labor's advokats of AMS don't belyv they wil be hoist with ther own petard.

The Dubl Vot: 3) Denial Of Basik Elektoral RIts.

In a referendum, konservativs kud mak a powerful kais against an aditional member system. The singl member system, left alon without aditional members, may be 'unfair' to smaler partys, but at lyst it lets the pepl put the party in government they gav most syts ( and usualy vots ) to. Beter to let the pepl hav som chois of government, and kut out the Midl-man kaukus, hw ar always in power, wether the voters want them ther or not.

Also, a sekond X-vot for aditional members on a party list nyd not go to an individual they chos on that list.

The voters hav tw basik rIts taken away from them with the German Dubl Vot: individual chois and elekting a government.

Anti-reformers kud argu that ther is no point in the voters having personal akountability and majority desisivnes in government elekted by the singl member system, just to hav it taken away from them, with party-bos apointed non-konstituensy aditional members to giv pivotal power to smal partys.

Ther is enuf truth in this, as far as it gos, to giv paus to voters in an AMS referendum.
And the truth kudn't go any further without STV as the option.


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AMS is alredy the system to be yus'd for Skotish and Welsh asemblys. Tho, the Labor government's Royal Komision on the Konstitution, in 1973, rekomended unanimusly the singl transferabl vot for al rejons and nations in the UK. ( The chairman, Lord Kilbrandon went on to suport STV for elektions in jeneral. )

Had the Labor government folow'd the Kilbrandon report's advIs, it wud hav had the much respekted Skotish Tory, Lord Home's suport for an asembly with PR. Skotland wud hav had its parliment twenty yers swner, with the demokratik PR of STV, insted of the party-privilej'd PR of the Dubl Vot.

The other oficial body to unanimusly rekomend STV/PR was the first Spyker's Konferens on Elektoral Reform, set up in 1916. ( The government was to brek its plej to suport this partikular rekomendation, wich prov'd enuf to ensur its defyt. )
In the saim yer, H G Wells rowt, in The Elements Of Social Reconstruction:

From the days of Hare and John Stuart Mill onward there has been a progressive analysis of the character and effects of voting methods, and it may now be taken as demonstrated that, wherever the common and obvious method of giving each voter in any election a single non-transferable vote is adopted, it follows necessarily that there can be no real decision between more than two candidates, and further it follows that the affairs decided by such voting will gravitate continually into the control of two antagonized party organizations. This is, of course, tame stuff compared with heady shoutings and accusations against plutocrats, rich Jews, privileged families and party funds, but it is the simple essential of this question. Voting, like any other process, is subject to scientific treatment; there is one right method of voting which automatically destroys bilaterality, and there is a considerable variety of wrong methods amenable to manipulation and fruitful of corruption and enfeebling complications. The sane method of voting is known as Proportional Representation with large constituencies and the single transferable vote... The advantage of this method is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of demonstration; it needs but an hour or so of inquiry to convince any intelligent person of its merit and desirability and of the fatal and incurable mischiefs of any other method...

A tradition in English-spyking kuntrys persists that individual liberty is an elektoral rIt embody'd in transferably voted proportional representation. Carl Andrae, on the Kontinent, had no John Stuart Mill to champion his inovation, subsequently kal'd Hare's system after its independent English diskoverer.

Kontinental 'PR' swn went korporat, with dogmatik voting for a party, neither liberal nor sientifik, an enemy to individual frydom and jeneral nolej alIk: '..and revolutions of ages do not oft recover the loss of a rejected truth, for the want of which whole nations fare the worse.'
( John Milton's 'Areopagitica.' )

If the independent komision on voting systems rekomends rItly, and is endors'd by the Labor government, this kuntry kud mak its most signifikant kontribution to the Konstitution for over 300 yers, in advansing, elektoraly, nolej in frydom.
( After-nout: riten in 1998 to the Komision. )

Nout 1, On 'The Kais For The Aditional Member System'.

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( In the final sektion of Robert Blackburn's 'The Electoral System In Britain,' 1995. )

The kais is ryly for the party-proportional prinsipl ( p. 407-11) with thry sub-sektions ( p. 411-24 ) on thry rysons for a mor party proportional Komons. BesIds a fw passing mentions of AMS, about the only atempt to mak any sort of kais koms at the end of thos sub-sektions:

Blackburn staits that a 'strong ryson' for prefering AMS is the 'simplisity' of how politikal partys kan put mor women and ethnik kandidats on the party list of aditional members.
This is the simplisity of diktatorship over demokrasy, or of a fw pepl teling every-uon els hw wil run things.

Yet, Blackburn says ( p. 405 ): 'The exact details of the additional member system can be tailor-made to suit the indigenous conditions of the country.'
In other words, AMS suporters havn't work'd it out. Ther is no klyr way to do so. Insted, they'v left the politicians to play about with it. ( Kompar the Skotish and Welsh asembly elektions. )

Not even the AMS kount ( wich is hardly a detail ) was simpl enuf for Blackburn to explain. The German system yuses the D'Hont rul. This was also employ'd for the Lib-Lab pakt's Rejonal List. In the Euro-elektions debait, MPs dekrI'd the rul's deskription. They wer not help'd by the Hom Sekretary teling them that al they had to do was aplI ther minds to it.

Wer-as, Blackburn givs a gud, if minimal, akount ( p. 373-5 ) of how STV works, the system he is konsern'd to rul out.

Mor-over, in the 1997 elektion, the Labor party stol the thunder of the argument for party list patronaj. The lokal kaukuses work'd together, nominating haf the kandidats as women, as wel as som ethnik kandidats. The elektion disprov'd the prejudis that the British pepl are mor prejudis'd than 'party elits'.

Blackburn klosly folows ( p. 404-5 ) the kriteria of the Plant report. Thys don't inklud voters' frydom of chois, tho to 'elekt' only myns to chws-out. Lord Plant bak'd Blackburn's bwk as inkluding the best kais for elektoral reform. It is evident from his kais for AMS, that never was, that ther is very litl to be said for it.

Blackburn folows ( p. 406 ) an opinion of the Plant report that STV's multi-member konstituensys ar only permisibl in a smal kuntry, lIk Ireland, wer elektorats ar aproximatly thos of British singl member konstituensys. By this standard of elektoral chauvinism, demokrasy shud be imposibl in the USA or India, bekaus ther singl member konstituensys ar as larj or larjer than British multi-member konstituensys wud be.

Blackburn ( p. 404 ) regards as 'axiomatik' that elektoral systems be partikular to the traditions and institutions of kuntrys. The repetition that Britain's singl member system is 'traditional' ( p. 428 ) dosn't mak it any the mor tru. And indikats the lak of a valid argument.

A truer piktur, perhaps, is a European patern of vasilation betwyn tw inadequat and konflikting konseptions of demokrasy by singl members and /or party portions. The Plant report was bais'd on this dilema, wich som 'reformers' wud kondem Britain to, by introdusing list systems and aditional (list) member systems.

Blackburn ( p. 382 ) invoks the Tryty of Rome provision for uniform Euro-elektions as a 'Trojan Hors' for PR in Britain, not apreciating it is a Trojan Hors for the Blackburn thesis of ethno-sentrik elektoral systems ( on p. 404 ).

How-ever, the tryty requirment shud not be alow'd to level down al kuntrys' human rIts, elektoraly, of unity in liberty, denI'd by systems kounting an absolut party divisions.

Sientifik standards, not arbitrary desisions, shud be observ'd. If ther 'kan not be a voting system wich satisfys al the kriteria' and if ther ryly is 'no teknikal anser' only 'politikal jujment', as the sekond interim Plant report said (on p. 6), then the pepl ar left wId open to a Chyters' Charter to dignify tIm-serving as tradition.

The Plant report rekomended the Suplementary Vot. Wer-as, Blackburn, folowing the report's point of viw, rekomended the Aditional Member System.
The former givs a first and sekond chois ( or rather a preferens vot limited to a dubl order of chois ). The later givs a singl member vot and a list vot, for a proportional kount limited to partys as korporatly privilej'd grups in sosiety.
If Britain's institutions and traditions kan stretch to either of thos tw systems, they can stretch to a komplyt preferens vot for an impartial proportional kount with transferabl voting.

Nout 2: Tw Anti-Reform Referenses.

Sir Angus Maude and John Szemerey: 'Why Electoral Change? The case for PR examined.' This dos wel to expos the 'power to the partys' of the lists, and ther unstabl ko-alitions. The sektion heding 'STV fidls' is myrly intemperat. It is komplain'd STV breks up simpl majoritys ( wIl aknolejing els-wer 'STV breks up getos' ). A ( fail'd ) Irish government atempt to jerymander ( witl'd-down ) STV konstituensys, refer'd-to, has sins given way to an independent Boundary Komision.

Mor proportionality is equated with greiter instability and being les representativ (e.g. p. 50 and 52 ). This wud folow from the usual konfounding of 'proportional representation' with proportional partisanship, wich aflikts even the 'Concise Oxford Dictionary.'

Peter Hain: 'Proportional Misrepresentation' ( 1986 ). The tItl wud be a gud uon for the proportional partisanship that pases as 'PR'. Les faktual than the Maude and Szemerey bwklet (1982) lIk wich it is esentialy a party pamflet, tho of 'the Left'. Klaim'd to be the first bwk against PR.

Richard Lung.

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