There is a growing realization that many of the problems afflicting American elections can be traced to the electoral system itself, in particular to our winner-take-all approach to electing officials. Douglas Amy demonstrates that switching to proportional representation elections-the voting system used in most other Western democracies, by which officials are elected in large, multimember districts according to the proportion of the vote won by their parties-would enliven democratic political debate, increase voter choice and voter turut, ensure fair representation for third parties and mirities, eliminate wasted votes and spoliers, and ultimately produce policies that better reflect the public will. Looking beyond new voting machines and other quick fixes for our electoral predicament, this new edition of Real Choices/New Voices offers a timely and imaginative way out of the frustrations of our current system of choosing leaders.
Douglas Amy is professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College. He lives in Northampton, MA.