Real Choices/new Voices: How Proportional Representation Elections Could Revitalize American Democracy

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Columbia University Press, 2002 - Political Science - 329 pages
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There is a growing realization that many of the problems afflicting American elections can be traced to the electoral system itself, in particular to our winner-take-all approach to electing officials. Douglas Amy demonstrates that switching to proportional representation elections -- the voting system used in most other Western democracies, by which officials are elected in large, multimember districts according to the proportion of the vote won by their parties -- would enliven democratic political debate, increase voter choice and voter turnout, ensure fair representation for third parties and minorities, eliminate wasted votes and "spoliers," and ultimately produce policies that better reflect the public will. Looking beyond new voting machines and other quick fixes for our electoral predicament, this new edition of Real Choices/New Voices offers a timely and imaginative way out of the frustrations of our current system of choosing leaders.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Fair Representation for All
25
Solving the Redistricting Problem
52
Improving Election Campaigns
68
Toward a Multiparty System
88
Electing More Women
109
Fair Representation for Racial and Ethnic Minorities
125
Encouraging Voter Turnout
151
A Different and Better Kind of Democracy
167
Objections to Proportional Representation
186
Versions of Electoral Reform for the United States
215
The Political Prospects for PR in the United States
235
A Seat Allocation Formulas in Proportional Representation
259
Seat Allocation Using Largest Remainder Method
260
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About the author (2002)

Douglas Amy is professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College. He lives in Northampton, MA.

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