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The arrangement in the Romanian Chamber of Deputies is very interesting, I find. Per the Romanian constitution, all ethnic minorities are entitled to one seat each in the chamber; from this list I count some 18 minorities, some of whom are not particularly numerous, who are entitled to a seat in the chamber (plus the large Hungarian-speaking minority, whose party seem to fulfill a role somewhat similar to the Swedish People's Party here in Finland).

(yes, this a ploy to get my beloved diary some attention via the recent comments. I have no shame.)

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Nov 7th, 2007 at 06:53:16 AM EST
How is this implemented in practice?

Yes, I am a recent comments junkie

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2007 at 07:00:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question. I've been trying to figure it out by perusing the Chamber's website. After a while I managed to find the relevant article in the Romanian constitution:
Article 62 (2) Organizations of citizens belonging to national minorities, which fail to obtain the number of votes for representation in Parliament, have the right to one Deputy seat each, under the terms of the electoral law. Citizens of a national minority are entitled to be represented by one organization only.

The electoral law of 2000 (PDF) (Chapter 1, Article 4) says that an organisation recognised by the government (a "legally constituted organisation of citizens belonging to a national minority") are entitled to one seat in the Chamber if they (on a nationwide level) manage to receive at least 5% of the average of the votes cast for the election of a single regular deputy. Such seats are thus in addition to the regular number of deputies in the chamber (314). How a specific candidate of said organisation becomes the deputy I'm not sure, but presumably the top vote-getter. The deputies are all, including the minority ones, listed as coming from one of the constituencies.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Nov 7th, 2007 at 07:43:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By that last part I wanted to emphasise that although a minority deputy is associated with a specific constituency, he or she can nevertheless represent a minority that isn't necessarily contained entirely within the constituency. Maybe something similar could be implemented for the European parliament, which would allow for say "The Romani People's European Party" to win seats without necessarily gaining enough votes in a specific constituency.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Nov 7th, 2007 at 08:20:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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