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with an opportunity to cast a personal vote to alter the order of candidates on a list as long as the affected individual candidates get five per cent of the vote

5% of the vote on the list, of the votes in the constituency or of what exactly?

I ask because Sweden uses a list system with an opportunity to cast a personal vote to alter the order of candidates on a list as long as the affected individual candidates get five per cent (eight per cent to national parliament) of the vote on the list in the constituency. This has had a very limited effect, because the bar is set to high, in particular for larger parties. I would much prefer the finnish system that has no bar.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jun 30th, 2012 at 03:29:45 AM EST
Sounds good. In the present Italian system the choice of MPs is entirely in the hands of the party boss(es) on a national level. "Candidates" are simply included in as many local lists as the party sees fit and then are juggled around once the elections have been held. Citizens have utterly no choice of preferences, a simple cross on a party symbol and that's that.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Jun 30th, 2012 at 05:18:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think, using the proposed House of Lords electoral system, the electors right to change the order of the party list is likely to prove more theoretical than effective. However it is an improvement on the totally closed fixed order regional party lists, which are used for European Parliament elections in Great Britain.

There are better kinds of party list systems, which give more freedom to the elector and less control to the party, but none of them seem to be on offer.

The reason why we got a closed party list system for Europe, was that the Labour Party were paranoid about the risk that individual Labour candidates might try to compete with other Labour candidates. That was intolerable because the public might be more attracted to candidates with individual opinions than to candidates who could only repeat the pre-packaged party line.

by Gary J on Sat Jun 30th, 2012 at 08:04:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The reason why we got a closed party list system for Europe, was that the Labour Party were paranoid about the risk that individual Labour candidates might try to compete with other Labour candidates. That was intolerable because the public might be more attracted to candidates with individual opinions than to candidates who could only repeat the pre-packaged party line.

How democratic!

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Jun 30th, 2012 at 09:45:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Going through the small print, in the third schedule to the bill, I have found out that the 5% figure relates to a share of the party vote not of all votes cast in the election.

The actual text of the bill.

"6 (1) Seats allocated in an electoral district to a party are to be allocated to its candidates in the following order--

(a) qualifying candidates, in order of the votes given for each candidate (largest number of votes first);

(b) other candidates, in the order in which they appear on the party list.

(2) A candidate is a "qualifying candidate" if the number of votes given for the candidate is at least 5% of the number of votes given for the party as determined for the purposes of paragraph 4(2).

(3) As between qualifying candidates with an equal number of votes, seats are to be allocated in the order in which they appear on the party list."

I am not sure that many individual candidates will get 5% of the list vote, because the elector has the choice to vote for a list OR for an individual candidate on the list (which counts as a vote for the list so far as allocation of seats is concerned). I imagine most electors will vote for the list or the lead candidate on it, so it would be quite unusual for one of the lower ranked candidates to reach a personal vote of five per cent of all the votes for the list.

by Gary J on Sat Jun 30th, 2012 at 07:46:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That sounds like the Swedish rule (except for parliament where it is eight per cent, but lowering that to five has been discussed).

In effect, in larger constituencies, there will be safe seats for large parties. If Labour and Conservatives each take 35% in South East they get about six seats. For the first name not to enter six candidates need to not only get more then number one, but also more then five per cent of the party votes each. And since it is a large constituency, with lots of people that means that six lower ranked candidates need to get their message out to lots of people.

On the other hand, all seats in Wales can very well be sorted on number of preference votes. And small parties has no safe seats as it only takes one other candidate to get more votes in order not to elect the top name where the party gets one seat. So it is a non-sensical barrier that only makes sense from the perspective of large parties (guess that is why it is proposed).

Btw, I can't get to the pdf. Even with adjusting for the link being incorrectly written. Anyone else can? Is it UK only?

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jun 30th, 2012 at 02:49:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have sorted out a link which seems to work to a page on the parliament web site, which includes a pdf link to the text of the bill as introduced.

DoDo kindly inserted a link to the page about the draft bills which were put forward for pre-legislative consultation. Unfortunately I tried to replace that with a link to the bill as introduced, but got the syntax wrong. Sorry for the confusion.

by Gary J on Sat Jun 30th, 2012 at 08:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you have party lists, the existence or absence of a threshold will not matter, because you will need far more than the threshold to beat the list votes.

For that matter, in a side-ordered list the party decides as well, because name recognition decides personal votes and name recognition depends on the resources the party allocates to each candidate. In Denmark party-lists are legal, but generally frowned upon. A few parties use them (principally the red-greens), but in practice you do not see any great difference between open and closed lists. In this respect, the parties are quite depressingly good at managing voter behaviour.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 2nd, 2012 at 05:14:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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