Getting it done

PR would take a bipartisan deal.

It is now clear that important thinkers have endorsed the idea of proportional representation. One even accepts the possibility of a multi-party chamber.

No doubt, some of this support is due to the fact that Democrats may need proportional voting. Their votes are now so geographically concentrated that, even with a popular vote exceeding Obama’s 2008 performance, they may not carry the House next week. The question is how you pass PR in a party-line world. Spoiler: you probably need Republican votes and therefore to mandate low nomination barriers.

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Acknowledging those who came before

The past is not that long ago.

A card I got for graduation pictures two lost drivers asking a policeman for directions. All are dressed in 1950s clothing. The caption reads, “I took the road less traveled, and now I don’t know where the Hell I am.” An instant hit.

So, where am I? Where do I stand in the long arc of this game? Where does this project stand in relation to the discipline?

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Why STV was repealed

“Dance with the one that brung ya”

Grassroots wins for ranked-choice voting will be met with Beltway hot takes. One recent piece attempts to say why early use did not persist into the present. It makes some errors, which were knowable. The first conflates proportional voting with the system in the news today. The second uses PR’s history to explain the abandonment of single-winner reforms.

We do not yet know why reformed single-winner systems ended up repealed. Also, the account of proportional-voting repeal invokes some old wisdom: cities couldn’t handle all that diversity. That is not quite right. What killed proportional voting was a series of failures to honor coalition commitments, some in places with very little diversity.

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