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University at Buffalo School of Law

Electoral system

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Madison's Hope: Virtue, Self-Interest, And The Design Of Electoral Systems, James A. Gardner Jan 2000

Madison's Hope: Virtue, Self-Interest, And The Design Of Electoral Systems, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

In recent years, perhaps no institution of American governance has been so thoroughly and consistently excoriated by legal theorists as the familiar American system of winner-take-all elections. The winner-take-all system is said to waste votes, lead to majority monopolization of political power, and cause the under representation and consequent social and economic subordination of political minorities. Some political scientists have attempted to defend winner-take-all systems on the ground that they perform better than PR in maximizing long-term collective and social interests. This article argues, in contrast, that winner-take-all electoral systems rest upon, and can be adequately defended, if at all ...