20 Pages Posted: 12 May 2016
Date Written: May 11, 2016
Electoral systems struggle to combine proportionality (fair representation) and direct accountability (local representation). This paper introduces an electoral system that combines proportional representation (PR) with optimal assignment of constituencies (OAC). Once shares of seats for individual parties have been calculated based on proportional representation, seats won by individual parties are assigned to individual constituencies for direct representation based on an optimization algorithm that maximizes the number of votes that are directly represented by their preferred party. This process rectifies one of the main shortcomings of PR and obliges elected members of parliament to represent local interests more faithfully. A variation of the PR-OAC system allows for the optimal assignment of a senior and a junior representative for each constituency. The proposed system is applied to results from Canada’s 2015 federal election for illustration and comparison purposes.
Keywords: Electoral Systems, Proportional Representation, Democracy
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