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On the Manipulability of Proportional Representation

Author

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  • SLINKO, Arkadii
  • WHITE, Shaun

Abstract

This paper presents a new model of voter behaviour under methods of proportional representation (PR). We abstract away from rounding, and assume that a party securing k percent of the vote wins exactly k percent of the available seats. Under this assumption PR is not manipulable by any voter aiming at maximisation of the number of seats in the parliament of her most preferred party. However in this paper we assume that voters are concerned, first and foremost, with the distribution of power in the post-election parliament. We show that, irrespective of which positional scoring rule is adopted, there will always exist circumstances where a voter would have an incentive to vote insincerely. We demonstrate that a voter’s attitude toward uncertainty can influence her incentives to make an insincere vote. Finally, we show that the introduction of a threshold - a rule that a party must secure at least a certain percentage of the vote in order to reach parliament - creates new opportunities for strategic voting. We use the model to explain voter behaviour at the most recent New Zealand general election.

Suggested Citation

  • SLINKO, Arkadii & WHITE, Shaun, 2006. "On the Manipulability of Proportional Representation," Cahiers de recherche 12-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:12-2006
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    File URL: http://www.cireqmontreal.com/wp-content/uploads/cahiers/12-2006-cah.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. De Sinopoli, Francesco & Iannantuoni, Giovanna, 2002. "Some results on strategic voting and proportional representation with multidimensional policy space," UC3M Working papers. Economics we025721, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    2. Francesco Sinopoli & Giovanna Iannantuoni, 2007. "A spatial voting model where proportional rule leads to two-party equilibria," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, pages 267-286.
    3. Francesco Sinopoli & Giovanna Iannantuoni, 2008. "Extreme voting under proportional representation: the multidimensional case," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(3), pages 401-417, April.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:82:y:1988:i:02:p:405-422_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Austen-Smith, David & Banks, Jeffrey, 1988. "Elections, Coalitions, and Legislative Outcomes," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, pages 405-422.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    parliament choosing rule; proportional representation; power index; strategic voting; manipulability;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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