An axiomatic theory of political representation
We discuss the theory of gerrymandering-proof voting rules. Our approach is axiomatic. We show that, for votes over a binary set of alternatives, any rule that is unanimous, anonymous, and gerrymandering-proof must decide a social outcome as a function of the proportions of agents voting for each alternative, and must either be independent of this proportion, or be in one-to-one correspondence with the proportions. In an extended model in which the outcome of a vote at the district level can be a composition of a governing body (with two possible parties), we discuss the quasi-proportional rules (characterized by unanimity, anonymity, gerrymandering-proofness, strict monotonicity, and continuity). We show that we can always (pointwise) approximate a single-member district quota rule with a quasi-proportional rule. We also discuss a more general environment, where there may be more than two parties.
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1217, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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