Viva proportional representation!

By Razib Khan | November 26, 2006 7:51 pm

Interesting article which surveys the confusion in Europe right now as countries whose electoral systems are based on proportional representation are seeing a tendency by the populace to vote for parties of the far Right and far Left. This has resulted in unwieldly and unstable coalitions drawn from the ever shrinking center. Many Americans (and some Brits) have long complained of “winner take all” districts which results in ideologically impure parties who offer milquetoast alternatives. The flip side though of course is that small popular vote majorities tend to yield very sizable representative majorities. Myself, I tend to favor proportional representation, despite its instability, because I think it more accurately reflects the ideological divisions within the electorate. The “big tent” negotiation which goes on in backrooms in a two-party systems occur more transparently when coalitions are necessary.
Genesis 38:24 – And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.


Comments (2)

  1. bigTom

    I tend to agree with you. Of course as someone who could be accused of Compulsive Centrist Disorder, it has been very discouraging to see politics in this country controlled largely by the most fervent true believers of either party. Basically the problem of getting candidates through the primary process has seemed to produce more extreme candidates. So we have ended up with goverment by the majority faction of the majority party.

  2. “No progress will now be made on the European constitution over the next six months. Although both the big parties are in favour, they are not strong enough to overrule the hostility of a nation — the Dutch voted no to a constitutional treaty in their referendum. And the Socialist Party is adamantly against one.”
    I’m having trouble reading that as anything other than ‘coalition governments more accurately reflect the view of the people’.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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