Voting Systems Classification

The classification categories (which are currently completely unsourced) need to be updated with modern scholarly language. Contemporary scholars classify electoral systems into the following groups: Proportional Representation Systems, Mixed Member Systems, Plurality/Majoritarian Systems, and some scholars include an "other" category. I have provided references below.

1. The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) classifies electoral systems into 3 groups: “Proportional Representation”, “Mixed Systems”, and “Majoritarian Systems”. The ERS lists AMS (the UK term for MMP) as a “Mixed System”. [1]
2. The Administration and Cost of Elections (ACE) Project classifies electoral systems into 4 groups: “Plurality/majority”, “mixed”, “proportional representation”, and “other”. The ACE Project lists MMP as “Mixed”. [2]
3. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems classifies electoral systems into 3 groups: “Plurality and Majority Systems”, “Proportional Representation Systems”, and “Mixed Electoral Systems”. The IFES lists MMP as a “Mixed Electoral System”.[3]
4. The Parliament of Canada classifies electoral systems into 3 groups: “Majoritarian”, “Proportional Representation”, and “Mixed Systems”. It lists a variant of MMP (D’Hondt system), which is used in Germany, as a “Mixed System”. [4]
5. Claudio Martinelli, Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law and School of Law from the University of Milano-Bicoccaand author of “Electoral Systems in Comparative Perspective” classifies electoral systems into 3 groups: “Majoritarian”, “Proportional”, and “Mixed” P.3-4. Martinelli lists two variants of MMP: the Hare e D’Hondt system used in Italy from 1995 to 2005, and the D’Hondt system used in Germany as “Mixed Systems” {P.9-10). [5]
6. Pippa Norris, Harvard Professor and author of “Choosing Electoral Systems: Proportional, Majoritarian and Mixed Systems” classifies electoral systems into 4 groups: “Majoritarian”, “Semi-proportional Systems”, “Proportional Representation”, and “Mixed Systems”. Norris groups AMS (the UK term for MMP) as a “Mixed System” (P.1-2).[6]
7. “Mixed-Member Electoral Systems: Best of Both Worlds?” by Professors Matthew Søberg Shugart and Martin P. Wattenberg from the University of California, classifies electoral systems into 3 groups: “Proportional Systems”, “Majoritarian Systems”, and “Mixed-member Systems”. Shugart and Wattenberg group MMP as a “Mixed-member System” (P.1-2). [7]

Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 13:26, 19 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]

I've created a default doc, sandbox, and testcases page. Please redo the sandbox so we can see what you have in mind (you may need to purge the testcases page for your changes to be visible). Once it's discussed we can go live with it. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 21:40, 1 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I have reverted User:Ontario Teacher BFA BEd's changes back to the version of Oct.17. Ontario boasts of "contemporary classification systems" and "modern scholarly language", but this is whitewash to veil Ontario's agenda that MMP is not proportional. The basic classification (plurality, PR, mixed, other) is certainly widespread, but because it can be misused (or misunderstood) to exclude MMP, unquestionably a proportional system, from the ranks of PR systems it is inappropriate here.
Despite those boasts Ontario is fickle about sources: in 3 months on Talk:Proportional representation she has yet to produce a RS supporting her claim that MMP is not PR. That's clearly no reason not to move MMP to the "Semi-proportional representation" heading in this template and to rename the heading "Mixed Member Systems" (MMP is after all "mixed"). That none of the articles listed under semi-PR except AMS, parallel voting and AV+ are mixed member systems also doesn't faze Ontario in the slightest. She has also renamed the "Semi-proportional representation" article to "Mixed Member Systems".
To prevent this kind of mayhem I have been trying for months to get Ontario blocked/banned; if protecting the template prevents Ontario changing it I am for it. --BalCoder (talk) 15:23, 13 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
User:Ontario Teacher BFA BEd: Before reverting again please provide "scholarly" sources that state that (1) Cumulative voting, Limited voting, Single non-transferable vote, Majority bonus system, Proportional approval voting, Sequential proportional approval voting, and Satisfaction approval voting are mixed-member systems; and (2) that MMP is not proportional. --BalCoder (talk) 09:27, 14 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
As you know, on the Talk:Proportional representation page, I have provided a plethora of sources which state that MMP can be semi-proportional. For instance, Roger Scully, a Professor of Political Science from Cardiff University describes the MMP system used in Wales as semi-proportional due to its lopsided FPTP to List PR seat ratio. [8] We will keep the conversation of the proportionality of MMP to that talk page.
The Majority bonus system is a Mixed Member system. [9]
Limited voting, also known as Single non-transferable vote, is a majoritarian system. [1] Proportional approval voting, Sequential proportional approval voting, and Satisfaction approval voting are plurality voting systems similar to IRV. [10]
Cumulative voting is "other". It is a corporate voting tool where shareholders gain a vote for each share they control. [11] I will make these changes into the sourced classification system.
As you also know, I have already already provided 7 scholarly sources which classify voting systems as "Majoritarian/Plurality", "Mixed Member", "Proportional" and "other. [1] [12][13][4][5][6][7] These scholarly sources are reliable, and include peer reviewed journals by numerous professors from institutions like Harvard. These sources are more than enough to outweigh the zero sources which classify electoral systems as "single-winner, multiple-winner, proxy voting, random selection, and social choice theory".
Please provide a source which classifies electoral systems as "single-winner, multiple-winner, proxy voting, random selection, and social choice theory" prior to reverting. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 04:18, 15 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
User:Ontario Teacher BFA BEd: Concerning MMP: The topic is not "MMP in Wales" but MMP period. --BalCoder (talk) 09:29, 15 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
During this 6 month debate, you have been unable to find a single source which classifies electoral systems as: ""single-winner, multiple-winner, proxy voting, random selection, and social choice theory". Contrarily, I have provided 7 scholarly sources which classify voting systems as "Majoritarian/Plurality", "Mixed Member", "Proportional" and "other. [1] [14][15][4][5][6][7] You are required to provide SOURCES prior to making disruptive edits/reversions. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 17:45, 31 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
User:Ontario Teacher BFA BEd:
  1. Your classification shows that MMP is not PR which is wrong, and will confuse readers. Your only reason for using this classification is to show, for your own politically partisan reasons, that MMP is not PR. For that reason alone you should be reverted.
  2. Over many years other editors have contributed to the page and I am not prepared to allow their work to be thrown out of the window by an editor who continues to demonstrate not only a profound lack of understanding of the subject, but also contempt for the principles of WP.
  3. Sources: self-evidently, I am not required to provide sources when I revert your changes to the status quo ante. In any case, this is not a WP article but a template, which is intended as an aid for readers, and as such has no need to reflect any external classification. The division "single winner", "multiple winner" is easy to understand and obvious. "Proxy voting", "random selection", and "social choice theory", are more helpful than "other".
For these reasons I am reverting your changes. --BalCoder (talk) 09:45, 2 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I really lack the time to do a proper check for sources, but it is quite distressing to have the pair of you reverting back and forth on my watchlist. Just my 2 cents, BalCoder, this is not an article, but it appears in many article so I would say the information on it should be verifiable (sources on the talk page, not the template obviously). Also, wp:V says that the "burden to demonstrate verifiability lies with the editor who adds or restores material". Ontario had to give sources for his additions and he did. You reverted, ie restored the previous material and ought to provide sources. Please do so. The other thing is that accusing people of doing things for partisan reasons with no real evidence is inappropriate. I strongly urge you to both stop reverting and discuss. Perhaps an RfC would be appropriate as it seems no agreement can be reached. Happy Squirrel (talk) 18:51, 2 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Hello user talk:Happysquirrel,
I agree. BalCoder believes electoral systems are classified as "single-winner, multiple-winner, proxy voting, random selection, and social choice theory". This user has been unable to provide a single source which classifies electoral systems this was, as none exist. Contrarily, I have provided several reliable sources classifying electoral systems as: "Majoritarian/Plurality", "Mixed Member", "Proportional" and "other. [1] [16][17][4][5][6][7] This user knows that the sources I have provided are reliable, and knows that these reliable sources are accurately represented. This user prefers ad hominem attacks by "attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, rather than attacking the argument directly". This is in strict violation to Wikipedia's civility policy.
Happysquirrel, thank you for A) Asking BalCoder to provide sources to support his/her position, and B) Asking BalCoder to stop the personal attacks. I appreciate your support. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 23:50, 3 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Your Plurality/Majority understanding

This all you included in so call "Plurality/Majority" systems are Single winner systems. I used more neutral Single district member as it seems to be the preliminary name of the system and somebody assumes Single Winner is aggressive :) The Wikipedia editors should put their likes and dislikes a side. This is wrong to attempt to be a propagandist instead scholar editing encyclopedia Ontario Teacher BFA BEd :)

Such kind of assumption #3 of Britannica - i.e. plurality is more than others - is only in UK and US encyclopedias, maybe in Canadian ... thus the only countries where the make-up of democracy still exists. The English speaking post-imperial and imperial states attempts to manipulate the language for political reason and some become shamanistic about their way - because the Wikipedia is in ENGLISH! This is not good it can be insolent anyway. The logic says if #1 and #2 in Britannica says plurality means "many" it can not means "most" i.e. #3. Simple :)

Majority means "more than half". You can easily find that the system produce FALSE majority governments - supported by less than half electorate (30-39% in most cases). Thus it has nothing to do with "majority" in truth meaning. Since in reality the system also reduce/eliminate the smaller parties on district/constituency level and become in fact two party system - like in US - it reduce the number of parties in parliament. It should be call LESS plurality/FALSE majority system, is it not? Be honest. A scholar way? Logic language? --New Speech Killer (talk) 20:06, 19 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Hello User:New Speech Killer,
1) The term "plurality", when referring to voting systems, means more than any other single party or candidate. "Majority" refers to more than all over parties/candidates combines, i.e. more than 50%. [18]
For instance, if candidate A. receives 48% of the vote, candidate B. receives 38% of the vote, and candidate C. received the remaining 14% of the vote, candidate A. has received a plurality of votes, but not a majority. If you are still confused, please view this video:
The following scholarly sources use the terms "Plurality" and "Majoritarian" to describe this voting system category. [1] [19][20][4][5][6][7] It is important to stick with the nomenclature used by journalists, academic scholars, and political groups. This list of sources are reliable, and international.
The term 'plurality' has nothing to do with the quantity of political parties. The term you are looking for is called: multi-party systems, which differs from two-party systems, and one party systems. You have incorrectly assumed that plurality voting systems are always two-party systems. In Canada, we use a plurality voting system with a multi-party system.
2) You are correct in observing that plurality/majoritarian systems are more likely to produce majority governments than minority governments or coalition governments. Some voters prefer majority governments, while others prefer minority governments, or coalition governments. The personal opinions of editors are irrelevant. Additionally, please ensure than all of your edits are from 1 account only, and you do not edit while logged out. Editing from multiple accounts, and editing while logged out are forms of sock puppetry. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 14:00, 20 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

RE 1) I prefer simplicity, so at #1 the 4 first sources, you provides, definitely put difference between what is so call "Plurality" system and "Majority" system. (I check just 4 first links you provides.) Maybe there is some later witch mix like you Plurality/Majoritarian in one group. It is one OR the other not P/M in each of the sources. I am not going to show you how the Brit source are inconsistent with each other but the P or M systems in each one source are put as separate. Seems to be your invention to put P/M by attempting to find consistence which does not exist. Single winner system in one source is put as Plurality in other source as Majority but the system call P/M is nowhere. Is it one or the other.

RE 2) :))) It is not a question what some voters prefer. If it is FALSE MAJORITY this is against democratic principle and preference of one grope of people is no issue. Thus if for example 30% of voters had been created Majority Conservative government of Harpper - of course 30% (minority group) would prefer the FALSE MAJORITY government, but potentially 70% DID NOT! The preference of minority group :) does not has a democratic quality. So it is not my personal opinion but democratic principle, which seems to me, Ontario Teacher BFA BEd :), has no importance for you. It seems to me you prefer the system despite of democratic value for YOUR VERY PERSONAL PREFERENCE --New Speech Killer (talk) 16:10, 7 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

It is nonsense to mix two names which do not represent the character of all members of legated group. My proposal is Constituency level elections.--New Speech Killer (talk) 16:42, 7 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Hello User:New Speech Killer,

1) You have incorrectly asserted that the sources either use the term plurality or majority, but not both, to describe this group of electoral systems. The following is a chart from the ACE Network, which clearly uses the term plurality/majority jointly as one category of voting systems.

File:Electoral Systems.png
Image of Electoral Systems


2) You have made many assumptions about voter preferences in Canada, and my own preferences. I will use as a case study the Ontario electoral reform referendum of 2007. An Ontario electoral reform referendum was held on October 10, 2007, in an attempt to establish a mixed member proportional representation (MMP) system for elections to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. However, the resulting vote, expressed as Yes or No, was heavily in favour of the existing plurality voting or First-past-the-post voting (FPTP) system.

Response to # of votes in favour % of votes in favour # of ridings in favour
First-Past-the-Post 2,704,652 63.1 102
Mixed Member Proportional 1,579,684 36.9 5
Total 4,284,336 100 107


I, along with 36.9% voted in favour of the referendum (although my preference, and the preferences of other editors, is irrelevant). 63.1% of Ontarians voted against the referendum. Therefore, your assumption that A. the majority of Canadians are against the current Plurality voting system is flawed, B. your assumption that only supporters of the Conservative Party of Canada support FPTP likewise has no merit, and C. your assumption of my preferences is complete fiction. Lastly, I'm going to ask you again to keep this discussion on this talk page, and not on my talk page as this is the more appropriate location to establish consensus. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 00:47, 11 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Voting Systems Made Simple". Electoral Reform Society.
  2. ^ "Electoral Systems: The Systems and their consequences". Administration and Cost of Elections (ACE) Project. Retrieved 11 Dec 2015.
  3. ^ "Electoral Systems and the Delimitation of Constituencies". International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Brian O’Neal. "Electoral Systems". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e Claudio Martinelli. "Electoral Systems in Comparative Perspective" (PDF). University of Milano-Bicocca. p. 3-10. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e Pippa Norris. "Choosing Electoral Systems: Proportional, Majoritarian, and Mixed Systems" (PDF). Harvard University. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e Matthew Soberg Shugart and Martin P. Wattenberg. "Mixed-Member Electoral Systems: Best of Both Worlds?". Oxford University Press. p. 1-2. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Elections in Wales". Cardiff University.
  9. ^ Camille Bedock and Nicolas Sauger Shugart and Martin P. Wattenberg. "ELECTORAL SYSTEMS WITH A MAJORITY BONUS AS UNCONVENTIONAL MIXED SYSTEMS". pp. 99–112. Retrieved 14 Jan 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  10. ^ Steven J. Brams and Peter C. Fishburn (2007). "Approval Voting". New York University.((cite web)): CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Cumulative Voting". Retrieved 14 Jan 2016.
  12. ^ "Electoral Systems: The Systems and their consequences". Administration and Cost of Elections (ACE) Project. Retrieved 11 Dec 2015.
  13. ^ "Electoral Systems and the Delimitation of Constituencies". International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
  14. ^ "Electoral Systems: The Systems and their consequences". Administration and Cost of Elections (ACE) Project. Retrieved 11 Dec 2015.
  15. ^ "Electoral Systems and the Delimitation of Constituencies". International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
  16. ^ "Electoral Systems: The Systems and their consequences". Administration and Cost of Elections (ACE) Project. Retrieved 11 Dec 2015.
  17. ^ "Electoral Systems and the Delimitation of Constituencies". International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
  18. ^ "Plurality system Politics". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  19. ^ "Electoral Systems: The Systems and their consequences". Administration and Cost of Elections (ACE) Project. Retrieved 11 Dec 2015.
  20. ^ "Electoral Systems and the Delimitation of Constituencies". International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
  21. ^ "Electoral Systems: The Systems and their consequences". Administration and Cost of Elections (ACE) Project. Retrieved 11 Dec 2015.
  22. ^ For timelines, see Library of Parliament. "Electoral Reform Initiatives in Canadian Provinces". Retrieved 21 April 2014.

Proposing a comprehensive update

I plan to make a number of changes to this template to address the following issues:

Before renaming the "Mixed-member" category, I feel that the Mixed-Member Systems article should be renamed "Mixed electoral systems" and edited accordingly.

Once the above changes are done, there are a number of systems in the template that should be grouped differently. For example, I believe Coombs' method can be treated as a variant of Instant-runoff (alternative vote), and that the Oklahoma primary electoral system is a variant of Bucklin voting. On the other hand, Scorporo, Av+, and Parallel voting should not be listed as variants of the Additional member system. There are also a few systems such as biproportional apportionment that deserve to be added. Finally, I would do some rearranging to remove awkward terms and position the most prominent systems near the top of their respective categories.

The changes I'm proposing will result in the following structure:

    * Plurality
        ** First-past-the-post
        ** Single non-transferable vote
        ** Limited voting
        ** Plurality-at-large (block voting)
        ** General ticket
    * Multi-round voting
        ** Two-round
        ** Exhaustive ballot
    * Ranked/preferential systems
        ** Instant-runoff (alternative vote)
            *** Contingent vote
            *** Coombs' method
        ** Condorcet methods (Copeland's, Dodgson's, Kemeny-Young, Minimax, Nanson's, Ranked pairs, Schulze)
        ** Borda count
        ** Bucklin voting
            *** Oklahoma primary electoral system
        ** Preferential block voting
    * Cardinal/graded systems
        ** Range voting
        ** Approval voting
        ** Multi-winner approval voting (Proportional, Sequential proportional, Satisfaction)
        ** Majority judgment
Proportional representation
    * Party-list (Open lists, Closed lists, Local lists)
        ** Highest averages (D'Hondt, Sainte-Laguë, Huntington-Hill)
        ** Largest remainder (Hare, Droop, Imperiali, Hagenbach-Bischoff)
    * Single transferable vote (CPO-STV, Gregory, Schulze STV, Wright)
    * Biproportional apportionment
        ** Fair majority voting
Mixed systems
    * Mixed member proportional
        ** Additional member system
    * Parallel voting (Mixed member majoritarian)
    * Scorporo
    * Majority bonus
    * Alternative vote plus
    * Dual member proportional
Other systems & related theory
    * Cumulative voting
    * Binomial voting
    * Proxy voting
        ** Delegated voting
    * Random selection (Sortition, Random ballot)
    * Comparison of electoral systems
    * Social choice theory
        ** Arrow's theorem
        ** Gibbard–Satterthwaite theorem
    * Public choice theory

Rhys Goldstein (talk) 01:52, 3 October 2017 (UTC)[reply]

The update has been made (see this edit). There is now a new article: Mixed electoral system. The "Mixed-Member Systems" article has been moved back to its original name: Semi-proportional representation. Rhys Goldstein (talk) 16:08, 24 October 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Add listNname parameters

My suggestion for values is: plurality, proportional, mixed, other. This makes it possible to expand individual sections on relevant pages. (talk) 16:59, 17 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Add link to positional voting within this template

The positional voting page incorporates this template but is not listed within it. Using this template, it is possible to navigate from positional voting to other electoral systems but not to navigate back to it.

Examples of positional voting electoral systems include the Borda count, the Nauru/Dowdall method and the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) one. However, the Borda count employs an arithmetic progression of weightings whereas the Nauru/Dowdall method uses a harmonic progression instead and the ESC uses neither type. The latter two are sometimes called ‘variants’ of the Borda count but this word is unfortunate since the properties of different types of weighting progressions generate quite different ranking outcomes.

The Borda count is well known for being a system that promotes consensual candidates. At the other extreme, plurality (which can be analysed using positional weightings of 1, 0, 0, …, 0) promotes polarised candidates. Intermediate weightings (see here) between these two extremes often produce markedly different election outcomes. Referring to any positional voting system (or plurality!) as a ‘variant’ or ‘modified’ Borda count is simply misleading. The Nauru/Dowdall and ESC voting systems are accurately defined as positional voting ones but much less well as ‘sort-of’ Borda count ones.

Therefore, I would suggest amending this template as follows. Replace ‘Borda count’ with ‘Positional voting (Borda count, Nauru/Dowdall method, Eurovision Song Contest)’.Mencor (talk) 08:41, 3 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

No comments or objections made so amendment actioned today.Mencor (talk) 09:30, 11 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]