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Wikipedia: Higher Averages Method
The highest averages method is one way of allocating seats proportionally for representative assemblies with party list voting systems.

The highest averages method requires the number of votes for each party to be divided successively by a series of divisors, and seats are allocated to parties that secure the highest resulting quotient or average, up to the total number of seats available. The most widely used is the d'Hondt formula, using the divisors 1,2,3,4... The Sainte-Laguë method divides the votes with odd numbers (1,3,5,7 etc). The Sainte-Laguë method can also be modified, for instance by the replacement of the first divisor by 1.4, which in small constituencies has the effect of prioritizing proportionality for larger parties over smaller ones at the allocation of the first few seats.

Another highest average method is called Imperiali (not to be confused with the Imperiali quota which is a Largest remainder method). The divisors are 2,3,4 etc. It is only used in Belgian municipal elections.

Spain uses the D'hondt method, which is the one most biases to favour large parties, with a 3% threshold at the constituency level and no top-up for overall proportionality.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 08:29:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great Britain (not Northern Ireland) uses the d'Hondt system in European elections, with small seat magnitude constituencies (3-10 seats) and no attempt at proportionality on the national level.

Combining the above with ordered party lists where the voters cannot affect the order of candidates on a list, it is about the worst proportional election system which could have been introduced. It is however better than first past the post.

How does the Swedish electoral system decide which candidate on a list is elected? Is it up to the parties or do the voters decide the order of individual candidate as well as choosing a party?

by Gary J on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 09:57:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The parties decide the order of the candidates on the list, but voters can override that by marking another candidate than the default ones.  

For example, one can mark number 18 and that one will then be prioritised. A candidate needs like 10 % of the votes that a certain party gets in a certain area to override the party list order.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 08:42:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the explanation. Sweden has a better system that the British PR one, which is as it is because Labour did not want its candidates to compete against each other.
by Gary J on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 02:47:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is 8% in elections to riksdagen and the EU parliament, and lower limits to local assemblies.

It should be noted that fixed (and rather high) limit in percentage of the votes has produced some odd results. Consider if one party takes one seat in an area and another takes ten. It is then more likely that the small partys one seat will be filled by someone who has got marked up then it is that the big party gets any candidate marked up. At least this has been the experience in Sweden. How come? Simple, because the limit is high it is seldom candidates reach above it and when there are many prominent candidates (like in the big party) it splits the marks over many candidates.

I would prefer the finnish system were (IIRC) that you place your vote on a candidate, that vote also falls to respective candidates party, seats are distributed to parties according to PR and then party seats are filled with candidates in accordance to number of votes.

But mostly I prefer to have a good and strong referendum instrument like in Switzerland. Then I guess what way you chose the parliament would not matter as much.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 04:57:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great Britain (not Northern Ireland) uses the d'Hondt system in European elections, with small seat magnitude constituencies (3-10 seats) and no attempt at proportionality on the national level.

Combining the above with ordered party lists where the voters cannot affect the order of candidates on a list, it is about the worst proportional election system which could have been introduced. It is however better than first past the post.

This is the system used in Spain, and the consensus is also that it is a really bad system. First of all, the constituency is the province, electing anywhere between 1 and 34 seats. This leads to overrepresenting small constituencies. Then the D'Hondt system favours large parties, and we have closed party lists.

Currently my preferred voting system is an additional-member system with single-transferable vote. Combining this with open party list for the top-up seats would be the best of all worlds.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 04:10:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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