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Is there more to electoral reform than the alternative vote?

Electoral Reform and its Problems – Thursday 27 May, 9.00 – 1.00pm, Wolfson Theatre, London School of Economics and Political Science

The closely fought 2010 election and subsequent coalition has put the issue of electoral reform in the news and back on the government’s agenda. But are there fairer alternatives to the proposed alternative vote? A symposium at the London School of Economics seeks to explore the various non-proportional options for electing MPs.

VotingThe Conservative promise to hold a referendum on the replacement of the current first-past-the-post electoral system with the alternative vote (AV) is a central plank of the new coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats.

But AV is only one of a number of voting procedures for electing a single MP in a constituency, and it may not be the fairest alternative. On Thursday 27 May a Voting Power and Procedures symposium at LSE explores various non-PR options for electoral reform.

In a feature presentation in two parts, Professor Dan Felsenthal argues that AV is not the best system, and not much better than first-past-the-post when more than two candidates contest a seat. He concludes that the Kemeny-Young method, which, among other things, allows voters to express an equal preference for candidates, leads to the most popular choice being elected.

No system is perfect and so the analysis and debate leading to any decision on reform must be informed and transparent. Citizens deserve no less when the legitimacy to rule is at stake.


This event has taken place. For more information about the Voting Power and Procedures centre please contact Rudolf Fara on r.fara@lse.ac.uk

Symposium agenda, Thursday 27 May 2010:

Part 1

Chair: Rudolf V. Fara (LSE)
9:00-9:30 Moshé Machover (LSE and King's College London): The underlying assumptions of electoral systems

9:30-10:00 Maurice Salles (LSE and University of Caen): The role of social choice in evaluating voting procedures

10:00-10:45 Dan Felsenthal (LSE and University of Haifa): Review of paradoxes afflicting various voting procedures.

10:45-11:15 Coffee

Part 2

Chair: Dennis Leech (LSE and University of Warwick)

11:15-12:00 Dan Felsenthal: Review of paradoxes afflicting various voting procedures (continued)

12:00-12:45 Iain McLean (Oxford University): Comments on presentations

12:45-13:00 Audience Questions

About 'Voting Power and Procedures'

Voting Power and Procedures (VPP) is the leading international centre for research in the theory, methodology and practice of voting power and its applications. From the design of national and international governmental voting systems to corporate mergers and acquisitions strategies understanding, voting power is the key to achieving successful empowerment and legitimate representative governance. VPP is currently engaged in its Voting Power in Practice research project sponsored by The Leverhulme Trust.

Wednesday 26 May 2010