Mixed Member Proportional Representation

-  Jesse Kumin

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I put John Adams up on two different pages because he deserves the space. His point of view was eliminated in 1789 when Virginia slavers led by James Madison, commandeered the US Constitutional Convention, and essentially staged the second phase of their coup. Compare Adams' vision of distributed grassroots power representing everyone's point of view,


... a "representative assembly... should be in miniature an exact portrait of the people at large. It should think, feel, reason and act like them."


to what we got from Madison, concentrated power, exclusive government commanded by and for a priveledged wealthy elite.


Gary Swing and I have similar goals, but somewhat different approaches on how to implement them. From the feedback I've received, most people like the option of just voting for a party. They approve of letting party leaders pick lists and list orders. There are many others however, about 25% in Sweden where they employ Open Party Lists, who like to have a say on individual candidates. Mixed Member Proportional adds another option for voters who may want to pick candidates from different parties for different offices. For these folks, Mixed Member Proportional offers the best of Party Lists and Single Transferable Vote. John Adams would be happy with this solution, because it most accurately reflects the diverse communities at large, offers easy ballot access for candidates and offers voters the most choice and accountability. Were MMP implemented in 1789, Adams point of view and the people he represented, wouldn't have been largely excluded for the next 231 years.


In an additional member Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) with an Open List system (mixed party and candidate), each elector casts two votes instead of one. On a double ballot, the elector chooses a party of choice and also his or her favorite candidate among those listed. As used in Australia, a horizontal line is drawn across the ballot with choices "Above the Line" for the party and "Below the Line" for the individual candidates. Voters can mix their party and candidate choices. It offers the greatest diversity of voter choice and makes individual candidates within a party accountable. It also precludes choke holds party bosses can exert on candidates in "Closed List" systems. With multiple parties fielding candidates, candidates also have more choice and much greater ballot access. If an office holder doesn't like the direction of a party, that individual can more easily move to another party. MMP offers easy candidate ballot access through a full spectrum of ideological viewpoints, offering voters a full spectrum of choice. New Zealand and Germany use MMP.


John Adams

Second President


In 1776 John Adams wrote an influential pamphlet      “Thoughts on Government”.