Podcast #99: History of STV in the USA


Ben is joined by American political scientist Jack Santucci to discuss the history of the single transferable vote electoral system and its implementation in numerous American cities in the early 20th century.

Jack’s book More Parties or No Parties explores this period and advances a theory to explain why electoral system change happens when it does. We also meander into a comparison of STV and simpler proportional representation systems.

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  1. The reason STV largely died out in the US was the Cold War. New York is an example, where Democrats used the election of Communist members to the city council to denounce the system as anti-American. To argue that STV has been historically unstable in the US without mentioning the Cold War scare campaigns is like discussing the history of modern Australia without mentioning Federation.

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