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The Sciences

Viva proportional representation!

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanNovember 27, 2006 6:51 AM


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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.

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