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Should the U.S. adopt proportional representation?

  • You can't make my vote count less than any other vote in my state. It's unconstitutional.

    There is nothing in the constitution saying that geographic bounded winner-take-all districts should exist-- just that a state's persons elect its representatives. In any state with more than one representative, the answer has been to split the state up geographically. Until the '60s, these splits could be of any number of persons, which then was banned by the Supreme Court as violating the constitution's rule (14th Amendment) that no state's laws can unequally protect its citizens, that is, by protecting the vote of someone in a small district more than the vote of someone in a populous district. The current system STILL violates equal protection, because with any geographic division at a level below state, because in a winner-take-all, the vote of my neighbors unfairly restricts the power of my vote differently than another's vote is restricted by the vote of their neighbors. Either my vote can be squelched by neighbors who vote differently than I compared to my vote in a statewide count, or my vote is wasted when my neighbors vote the same but still our votes count less than when cast in a more competitive district. Who is going to bring the lawsuit and/or propose the amendment that give us proportional representation instead? It's not perfect, since state boundaries still introduce arbitrary imbalances, but it's MUCH better than the gerrymander-insulated partisan gridlock that we have now, which is KILLING America.

  • And Instant Run Off Voting for Executives! VOTE GREEN!

    This would break the 2 party monopoly and make sure all views are represented in proportion to being held in society (among those who choose to vote anyways)! We could also do "open-seat" which means along with the party you want you vote for a person in the party's list and the votes they receive determine the order they get seated.

    And to take care of the party monopolies on executive offices we can use instant run-off voting. You rank as many candidates as you want at the ballot, the lowest vote getter's votes transfer to who ever you ranked next in each round until there is a majority and that person wins.
    That way you could rank the Green candidate 1, Democrat 2 or Libertarian 1, Republican 2, even Green 1, Libertarian 2, Democrat 3 if you wanted and not worry about the spoiler effect.
    This is supported by the Green Party and if we want this to happen we need to throw our support behind it in 2014! If all someone needs to do is be "the lesser of two evils" to get your vote, if that is the standard that is all we will ever get. YOU need to be the change and refuse to vote for someone who goes against your values.
    I voted for Obama twice. I am ashamed. Obama authorizes warrantless spying, indefinite detention, and perpetuates the evil expulsion of the Chagos Islanders. There's "bad", a little "bad" I can tolerate in a politician. Nobody is perfect. But then there's "evil" and the things I just listed are in my opinion, EVIL. I will not vote for someone who is evil again even if I have to vote for someone who can't win. Who knows? Maybe this will get through to enough people that they will be able to win.

  • Break the two-party monopoly

    The US needs proportional representation. When there are two major parties and then a bunch of minor ones, all a minor party is ever going to do is act as a "spoiler" and cause the major party that is most similar to it to lose. Under a proportional representation system, those minor parties get seats themselves.

  • Yes we need different representation.

    We live in a day and age where counting every citizens vote is not only possible, but should be done for every election. Having representatives for states, and political parties leaves decision making in the hands of few, while the results are felt by all. If the decision has an impact on every U.S. citizen, then every citizens vote should be counted, not just the vote of "representatives".

  • YES we need more representation!

    I believe that the two party system in America does not function its best to serve the government we need. The problem with the elections is that you can have a Democratic president, but a republican house and senate, which gives uneven distribution of power and does not really allow the president to accomplish what he said he would do for the voters.

  • Yes, the US needs to be more accurately represented.

    We need to do a better job of being represented. Just like with the elections that just happened, we should go off of the votes that a candidate receives not just winning the state and then they get that many electoral votes. It should be plain and simple. If you have this many Democrats than you should have that many representatives.

  • Proportional Representation Means More Parties in Congress

    The two-party system in America has its flaws. One solution is to adopt what many European parliaments have when parties are elected. The proportion of votes given to one party in a national election determines how many seats in government are given to each party. If Democrats get 35 percent, they get 35 out of 100 seats. Should the GOP get 32 percent, they get 32 out of 100 seats. Suppose the Libertarians get 10 percent of the vote, they get 10 seats. The pattern would be more fair, even though more gridlock is possible.

  • People deserve a voice in politics no matter what state they're in.

    Regardless of the benefits first past the post has, people who live in states where they have no chance of tipping their state's (or even district's) votes. You would have more parties involved in the political process as well as more people showing up to vote which is a good think for democracy.

  • The USA is not very democratic but it is very plutocratic!

    Let's face it folks. Our electoral system was designed for white male land owners. It is not democratic! It is by definition plutocratic. The USA is now much more diverse and two parties just cannot represent everyone's interests. With SCOTUS' decision on Citizen's United, basically saying that money is free speech, which further indicates we are a plutocracy, The only thing I can hope for are major changes to the Constitution, which just is not at all likely to happen. I was really rooting for Bernie Sanders, mistakenly... I think he was just a part of the plan that political scientists came up with. Now I am going to vote my conscience and vote for the Green Party. I feel we should only have publicly financed campaigns and those who hold high office must establish a blind trust to hold their assets while in office. And this whole gerrymandering of district lines, that's called "fixing the game." Oh we need change... That is for sure! But when you have "in God we trust" on your money, are you not basically saying that your God is money? And further more I think we should shut down the private Federal Reserve and go back on the gold standard, otherwise we will all be in debt slavery forever.

  • The USA is not very democratic but it is very plutocratic!

    Let's face it folks. Our electoral system was designed for white male land owners. It is not democratic! It is by definition plutocratic. The USA is now much more diverse and two parties just cannot represent everyone's interests. With SCOTUS' decision on Citizen's United, basically saying that money is free speech, which further indicates we are a plutocracy, The only thing I can hope for are major changes to the Constitution, which just is not at all likely to happen. I was really rooting for Bernie Sanders, mistakenly... I think he was just a part of the plan that political scientists came up with. Now I am going to vote my conscience and vote for the Green Party. I feel we should only have publicly financed campaigns and those who hold high office must establish a blind trust to hold their assets while in office. And this whole gerrymandering of district lines, that's called "fixing the game." Oh we need change... That is for sure! But when you have "in God we trust" on your money, are you not basically saying that your God is money? And further more I think we should shut down the private Federal Reserve and go back on the gold standard, otherwise we will all be in debt slavery forever.

  • Our system isn't perfect, but

    In a proportional representation system, you would see that the political parties that are elected to Congress (and there would be more of them) would be much stronger than the ones we have now. Representatives can afford to have independent views because they don't just represent a political party, they represent people. In many PR systems you literally vote for a party's preselected list of candidates - you have no control over who those candidates are, and candidates have no choice but to obey party leaders, for fear that they might not be placed on the list again for the next election.
    In our system of single member constituencies, primary elections narrow the field to (usually) two candidates who represent of parties which are very broad coalitions - you can hardly call Democrats or Republicans a "party" in the international sense of the word because they are barely cohesive. Even in a 90% blue district, an incumbent can be unseated, usually in the primary election, and any Democratic representative can ignore Nancy Pelosi with little fear of vengeance - the same goes for Republicans. In a PR system, the only way for a representative to move up (or even survive) within their own party is to appease.

    That being said, the system is corrupted - money is too important and seats are horribly gerrymandered. Some forms of proportional representation could improve things (my hometown uses cumulative voting for half of its City Council, and I think it works quite well), but many, especially party-list representation, will only lead to a choice between parties which are not democracies, themselves.

    As a side note, I'd like to point out that the apportionment cases of the 1960s did help to end some forms of malapportionment, but made gerrymandering much easier. Before the 60s, congressional and state legislative districts almost always had to conform to county lines, which made it much harder for politicians to manipulate them (not impossible, just much harder). Now that even the slight variations in population that this caused are considered unconstitutional, constituencies can take almost any wacky shape with few obstacles.

    To re-illustrate - broad parties mean representatives can afford to have opinions independent of their parties and to better represent their constituents. In a PR system, only vetted candidates of monolithic ideological blocs can get elected. It may seem that that is how our system works sometimes, but there are other unfortunate forces at work which cause problems, not just the electoral system.

  • It would take control over who the representative is away from the people.

    Currently, representatives almost always live in their districts. Those representative have to convince their neighbors to vote for them.

    In a PR system, party bosses would decide the candidates since each district would be statewide.

    A better plan would be to shrink the district sizes down to a manageable level and turn over redistricting to an automated system that would redistrict by party registration.


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