Thank you, Al, for your reply.
I don’t understand how you can say that the system that has only part of the voters represented is better than the system that has all voters represented.
In 1996, New Zealand changed their system from a two-party system to a mixture of half winner-take-all and half full-representation. What was amazing about that first new election was that the number of female representatives jumped from 21 to 37 (in percentages this was 21 percent to 30.8 percent because they also added 20 to the original 100 seats). Today, they have 40 percent female representatives. New Zealand is not a bad example to show us all how good it gets.
Women and minorities would benefit from proportional voting in the US, because now they can hardly get a seat in the US senate. Each seat requires 50 percent plus one vote, so a minority of as large as 49.9 percent gets nothing. One in eight is of African descent, but we do not have ten or fifteen African-American Senators as expected with this voter reality on the ground. The outcomes are changing here, slowly, but the numbers are truly nowhere anywhere near the natural numbers. New Zealand is showing us one of the better ways forward.
The US boast of itself as the bastion of democracy but it does not have a real democratic system in place. Its power is based on it military and on its economy. This nation is really shallow in as far as true representation goes. The representatives are quite out of touch. The two political machines are in full control.
At the local level there are mostly just folks from one party in the seats (they are not allowed to run on party lines, but look at party affiliation and the US is a one-party system at the local level, with group think and all anywhere you look).
In the US, the collective decides. The individual is subjected to the group to select who will be in the group around the table that subsequently takes majority decisions as well.
In our system, the majority rule is applied twice. Once while voting for the reps, and once by the reps themselves making the decisions. Often, the majority decision of House does not reflect the majority of the voters because all voters are simply not represented at the table.
In proportional voting, majority rule is simple. All are represented in the House, and the majority decision reflects the majority of the voters.
We have a divide-and-conquer element in our election system.
Here is how Proportional Voting works during the transition toward the next coalition government:
Let me take Sweden as the example because the Scandinavian setup is the simplest. The power is with the House; it is not with the government. There is never a hiatus of power, because the day after the election, the House seats are divvied up according to the election results.
The old government remains in place until a new government is formed. They can make many decisions just like before the elections, but they must ensure their decisions concur with the majority of the seats. The power is always intact, and it resides with the people.
The power is never with the coalition government; the House is the power.
Sweden has one house and one house only. No president. The happiest people on earth (look at the top ten) have the simplest and fairest form of democracy. Sweden does not have a divide-and-conquer element in their voting system.
Israel. A nation in continuous state of war. I am surprised they are still a democracy at all — either version.
Italy. They have a weird setup. They have two houses and both houses can undermine the government. No other nation does that. The Italians incorporated divide-and-conquer into their system. I do not respect the Italian setup; I consider it all a strange compromise and the Catholic Church has something to do with that, too.
We have two houses and a president. Your three votes for each seat of power can end up fighting with each other. It’s pathetic because it not only weakens their power, but it means the power can end up residing with the ones that benefit from weak governance.
The US has a power system based on the collective and not on the individual, and the three seats of power make for a weak government when it comes to making decisions.