Far reaching reform of Congress includes new measures in proposal for proportional representation | Democracy, elections, and voting at Democracy Chronicles
Ballot Access News had a recent article by editor Richard Winger about a new proposal for proportional representation in Congress. Take a look:
The Huffington Post has this column by Rob Richie, advocating bigger U.S. House of Representatives districts that would each elect three (or possibly more) members. Also, the column advocates the rules used for the Illinois House of Representatives 1870-1980, in which parties are free to decide whether to run one, two, or three nominees in districts like this. Then, voters would be permitted to use cumulative voting. A voter could give all three of his or her votes to a single candidate, or give one vote to each of three candidates, or give one-and-one-half votes to each of two candidates.
This may sound complicated, but it would not require a constitutional amendment. Nor would it require changes to vote-counting machines. But t would require Congress to repeal the 1967 law that requires all states to use single-member districts for U.S. House. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.
In the Huffington post article by Rob Richie, Blame It on Winner-Take-All: Why Our Outdated Voting Rules Cause Congressional Crises, the author criticizes US plurality elections in a way that might be familiar to Democracy Chronicles’ readers. Of course, DC has a section on Election Methods where plurality elections and the alternatives are discussed at length. According to Richie:
Winner-take-all, combined with the current partisan geography and rising polarization (especially on the right), has produced a system in which the House of Representatives is controlled not by a majority of voters, not even by a majority of seats, but by a majority of a majority of seats. And that majority-of-a-majority isn’t even answerable to the majority of voters in their districts, but to the minority that vote in the primaries. This isn’t government by the people; it’s — follow us here — government by a minority of a majority of a minority of the people. It is an absurd perversion of democracy.
FairVote is a group that has been at the leading edge of the fight for election methods reform and Democracy Chronicles has an ongoing relationship with their group. Here is some more information from the FairVote website:
A non-profit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization, FairVote educates and enlivens discourse on how best to remove the structural barriers to a democracy that respects every voice and every vote in every election. Grounded in its unique networks, analysis, strategic insight and body of research, FairVote acts as a catalyst for electoral reform and voting rights through regular engagement with scholars, journalists, civic leaders, policymakers, and state and local reformers