3 definitions by Obscure Anomaly

Just a side note: If you aren't familiar with the various electoral (voting) systems around the world, please do not read this as the wording may confuse you.

An electoral (i.e., voting) process in which full representation of all parties who have received votes is achieved by closely matching the percentage of party votes to the percentage of seats allocated in legislative assemblies.

There are 3 known ways of achieving proportional representation (PR) in electoral systems.

1. Party-List PR: There's a list of pre-determined candidates (closed-list) or candidates that the voters can rank (open-list), along with some mathematical formula of allocating the seats (D'Hondt or Sainte-Lague). Countries which use Party-List PR include Israel (where the country is one closed-list constituency) and the Netherlands (open-list).
2. Additional-Member System (AMS), Mixed-Member System (MMS): Two votes, one vote for a legislator (MP -- Member of Parliament -- in places like the UK and New Zealand) to represent a single-member constituency (under plurality voting), the other vote for a party (under party-list PR). In places like Germany, a certain number of seats are blockaded off for party-based legislators. Besides Germany, New Zealand uses this (along with calculating party-list seats via the Sainte-Lague method) for its House of Representatives.
3. Single Transferable Vote (STV) (in a multi-member constituency): Usually 3 to 6 candidates per constituency. Voters number their ballot according to their preferences. The first preferences are calculated first and candidates must achieve a quota (determined by the number of votes and the number of vacant seats) in order to be elected; if none of them meet the quota, the lowest-voted candidate gets eliminated and his/her 2nd preferences allocated to the next candidate, etc., until all the constituency seats are filled. Australia uses this to elect its Senate (upper house).

The 1998 Jenkins Commission in the UK also suggested a broadly-PR type of voting system called Alternative Vote Top-Up, a variant of Additional-Member/Mixed-Member where voters number their ballot according to preferences to determine an electorate MP in single-member constituencies (just like Australia's preferential voting for its House of Representatives). The other vote is a party vote, candidates on that list for each county.

A few notes on proportional representation:
1. Parties are less likely to gain majorities in legislative assemblies, very likely resulting in coalition governments.
2. Third parties, which are often disadvantaged under FPTP (first-past-the-post), often want PR so they can get more seats but not necessarily a majority. Examples being the UK's Liberal Democrats and Canada's NDP.

For more on PR, just type "proportional representation voting" in your favorite search engine.
If a party wins 45% of the popular vote, it'd be entitled to 45% of the seats under the basic concept of proportional representation.

Party-List PR is where you vote for a party (closed-list) or number candidates on a list (open-list).

Additional-Member PR or Mixed-Member PR is where you get two votes, one for your electorate, the other for a party.

Single Transferable Vote is where you rank candidates and they have to achieve a quota based on votes and vacant seats in multi-member constituencies in order to be elected.

The 1998 Jenkins Commission recommended Alternative Vote Top-Up as an alternative to the UK's current First-Past-The-Post (a.k.a. plurality winner, winner-take-all) voting system.

Political parties are less likely to achieve majorities in legislative assemblies under PR than they would under First-Past-the-Post plurality voting.

A few political parties crying for PR include the UK's Liberal Democrats and Canada's NDP (New Democratic Party). (And another side note: Even Jello Biafra, when he was trying to become the U.S. Green Party's 2000 presidential candidate, wanted to convert the U.S. Congress from the current two-party FPTP system over to PR as he said in his speech to party faithful that year.)
by Obscure Anomaly July 16, 2006
It's mandatory in Illinois schools, unless you..

1. have some medical issue;
2. are taking something like Health or Driver's Ed;
3. are on a sports team (e.g. high school wrestling, etc.); and/or
4. observe a religion that won't let you participate for some reason (Christian Scientists b/c of the "body is just a shell", Muslim girls b/c of the PE outfits)
Illinois, even though it's the only state that mandates Physical Education, allows students to opt out via medical disability, Health or Driver's Ed elective, and/or religious reasons.

1. "Here's a note from the school nurse."
1-a. "I can't go swimming. I'm on my period, and I can't wear a tampon."
2. "Sorry, I'm taking Driver's Ed. Us Illinoisans can't drive so well unless we sit in a classroom."
3. "Why would I want to repeat wrestling practice?"
4-a. "The clerics say that this T-shirt and gym shorts are too revealing for a girl of the Muslim faith."
4-b. "The only exercise I know is ex-or-cise."
by Obscure Anomaly August 23, 2006
One who wants to maximize individual liberty and mimimize the role of the state. ("Live and let live," so to say.)

Government should protect and preserve life, liberty, and property, as well as intervene in the events of force and fraud. (Force, however, is OK when somebody trespasses onto your property and/or initiates violence against you or a loved or defenseless one.)

On the issues (Thanks to the U.S. Libertarian Party's official website)...

1. CRIME AND VIOLENCE: Protect victims' rights. End prohibition. Get tough on real crime (ones with actual victims). Protect the right to self-defense. Address the root causes of crime.

2(a). ENVIRONMENT - BASICS: Abolish sovereign immunity for government officials. Privatize "land and beast". Use tort (restitution) as a deterrent and restorative.

2(b). ENVIRONMENT - GLOBAL WARMING: Utilize non-government ways to put a stop to the "problem" we've been hearing about.

3. FAMILY BUDGETS: Knock down income and property taxes so families can put more money into their bank accounts and piggy jars. Utilize sales taxes to collect revenue.

4. FOREIGN POLICY: Non-interventionism. Use deterrence, and only attack when actually threatened or attacked. Free trade over foreign aid to help out developing nations. No conscription, period.

5. FREEDOM OF SPEECH: No censorship, no subsidization. Only intervene when there's coercion involved.

6. GUN LAWS: The right to bear arms. Encourage gun ownership, and invest in education and training programs to promote responsible gun ownership.

7. HEALTH CARE: Establish Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs). De-regulate the health care industry. Remove barriers to safe, affordable medicines.

8. INTERNET: Stop censorship.

9. IMMIGRATION: To immigrants, no welfare. And make sure you get screened for medical purposes and have had a police background check. Then you can enter LEGALLY.

10. POVERTY AND WELFARE: End welfare. Establish a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for contributions to private charity. Tear down barriers to entrepreneurism and economic growth. Reform education using the free market (or vouchers or tax credits).

11. PRIVACY: Repeal restrictions and regulations on the private development, sale, and use of encryption technology. No court-issued warrant detailing the time, place, and area to be searched, no search. No national ID card and no Social Security for ID purposes.

12. SOCIAL SECURITY: Sell all assets to make sure that America's promises are kept while pursuing IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) for the purpose of allowing citizens to control their own retirement.

13. TAXES: Privatize and cut taxes. Get Germany and Japan off of military welfare. Stop bailing out industries with taxpayers' money. Replace welfare with private charity. Sales taxes would be better than income and property taxes.
A Libertarian on the issues...

1. CRIME AND VIOLENCE: "How about monetary restitution for the victim instead of the death penalty? And let's legalize drugs, gambling, and prostitution, as long as it's consensual."

2(a). ENVIRONMENT - BASICS: "What the EPA says goes, politicians. It's time you guys sold some land to pay off the national debt. And I'm gonna take that guy to small claims court because he spilled oil on my front lawn."

2(b). ENVIRONMENT - GLOBAL WARMING: And I'll plant some trees to suck up that CO2, a'ight, you global-warming worrywarts?!"

3. FAMILY BUDGETS: "That FairTax is such a good idea. Instead of you taking my money, I'm GIVING it to you."

4. FOREIGN POLICY: "Do we really need to police the world or contribute troops to UN peacekeeping forces? I honestly would rather sign free trade agreements over foreign policies. Yeah, sure, jobs may be outsourced, but we should really knock down corporate taxes so we can compete for those jobs."

5. FREEDOM OF SPEECH: "Read the First Amendment."

6. GUN LAWS: "Read the Second Amendment. I'm training to use a gun responsibly, mind you. I won't shoot unless in self-defense, but I'll pay you money if I misfire my gun, a'ight?"

7. HEALTH CARE: "Let's find ways to lower costs instead of trying to find bureaucratic ways to foot the bill, OK, you Canadian-style health care lovers?"

8. INTERNET: "Read the First Amendment. Net Neutrality is an invasion by government into the free market -- let Internet providers shoot themselves in the foot."

9. IMMIGRATION: "Let's cut off welfare before we open the floodgates."

10. POVERTY AND WELFARE: "A job is better than welfare."

11. PRIVACY: "Read the Fourth Amendment. And stay out of my comp, unless you got a court-issued warrant!"

12. SOCIAL SECURITY: "IRAs R awesome. I could sell these assets to help pay the national debt."

13. TAXES: "Lower taxes by cutting the fat from the budget. Privatize, no military welfare, no corporate welfare, and private charity. Russ Feingold and all you other budget hawks in Congress, take notes."
by Obscure Anomaly September 02, 2006

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