Ironically, however, the Democratic and Republican parties have become strong supporters of proportional representation for their own internal party processes, for example, in the awarding of delegates to select their presidential nominees. You may be surprised to learn that the parties have quietly implemented proportional representation in their presidential nominee selection process over the course of the last four years. An article in the Financial Times provides a fair amount of detail on the issue. Excerpt:
With many US states shifting next year to a proportional voting system, making it harder for any candidate to lock up the nomination early, the Republican battle could mirror the drawn-out Democratic party contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008 . . .
While the Democratic nomination contest three years ago created a bitter divide between the rivals, Republicans admired the party’s proportional voting system, which meant Mr Obama did not win the ticket until June.
Republican chiefs thought the process strengthened the candidates by forcing them to set up campaigning infrastructure in all 50 states and explaining themselves to the electorate . . .
The new rules are complicated and some are still unclear. All states that hold caucuses and primaries before April 1 are supposed to use a proportional representation system to allocate their delegates, who proceed to the party convention in August where the nominee is chosen.Does anyone out there know any more of the details of how these rule changes have been implemented? If the parties have begun to use proportional representation to choose their presidential nominees, that provides a strong lever to make the case for proportional representation in government itself.
Under the previous winner-takes-all system, the candidate who came first in a state would win all of its delegates. In states with proportional voting, if one candidate won 40 per cent of the vote in New Hampshire and another candidate 25 per cent, they would get 40 and 25 per cent of the delegates respectively.