proportional representation

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at
Tue Aug 29 15:34:13 PDT 2000

On Mon, 28 Aug 2000, kelley wrote:

> ago. i fail to see how proportional representation is any sort of
> answer. it seems to me that such an approach presumes that groups of
> people think alike, based on identity.

No, it's simple math: PR systems translate votes directly into seats. Winner-take-all systems exclude large numbers of folks, so they end up giving up on the electoral system as a whole. This is why politics in the EU is so much livelier, interesting and democratic than in the US: you have Communists, Greens, Socialists in the parliament, where they kick up a fuss, denounce the Powers That Be, and otherwise fight the good fight, winning small battles which can turn into big wins. Eastern Europe chose PR systems for their fledgling democracies, not a US-style system. We're literally the last industrial country on the planet to put up with an 18th-century political system.

Not that PR by itself would change anything; you'd still need Left parties which somehow carried out the wishes of working folks. But any future US Left (we don't really have one yet) will have to have PR as one of its goals.

-- Dennis

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