Friday, November 12, 2004

Anatole Beck, Proxy Representation and Elections

by Asim Jalis

Anatole Beck proposes an interesting approach to elections. He calls it Proxy Representation, and describes it here: Link to Beck's article. Here is how it works. Beck writes: "[Each] voter would decide which of the candidates he would be willing to empower with his proxy in the legislature, and vote for them all in a preferential ballot. [...] Each of the elected candidates would then have a mandate which was the number of proxies he ended up with and, in the legislature, each of the elected candidates would be able to cast as many votes on each issue as there were proxies in his mandate." This stops gerrymandering because regardless of how the districts are chopped up, each person's proxy vote is guaranteed to make it to the legislature. Each elected representative is as powerful as the number of votes he got in the election. It might be interesting to try this in small organizations and clubs to see how well it works in practice.