Evolution of the American proportional representation movement

In seeking an explanation for why several cities once adopted PR-STV, I sometimes encounter the following hypothesis. Among myriad goo-goo reform ideas, PR was unusually obscure, and that’s why it only happened in 24 places.

Obscurity could not have been the cause of PR’s rarity, and I’ll show you why below.

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Really, the US chose its electoral rules in 1967

Entertain me for a moment while I present a conspiracy theory. Congress banned multi-member House districts in 1967 in order to curb the threat of proportional representation.
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Erratum: PR in Canadian cities

Last week I described and reflected on twenty-four U.S. cities’ experiences with proportional electoral rules in the first half of the last century. That post included brief comment on similar episodes in twenty more Canadian cities.

I reported that Edmonton and Winnipeg had the longest runs with PR-STV. Dennis Pilon pointed out that I got Edmonton wrong (late-night transposition goof). It was Calgary instead. So here is the chart from last week, this time with the Canadian cities:

Spells of PR-STV use in North American cities

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