Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Abstract

The alternative vote (AV) is a preferential electoral system that tends to reward political moderation and compromise. Fraenkel and Grofman have repeatedly attempted to show that AV is not conducive to inter-ethnic moderation in severely divided societies. In this response to their latest attempt,the author points out that neither political party coordination of the vote nor strategic voting plays any part in their analysis. In contrast, he explains how moderate parties of one ethnic group are able to induce their supporters to cast ballots for moderate parties supported by voters of another ethnic group. Prof. Horowitz also explains why the incentives for parties to arrange interethnic vote transfers are much greater under AV than they are under systems such as single transferable vote, which is in use in Northern Ireland, and shows that Fraenkel and Grofman's interpretations of AV's operation in Australia, Fiji, Sri Lanka, and Papua-New Guinea are contrary to the evidence.

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