Which Majority Should Rule? - Daniel Wodak (UPenn)
Speaker: Daniel Wodak
Abstract: When voters are divided into districts, 'election inversions’ are possible: the party that wins a majority of the votes overall may not win the majority of districts. So which majority should rule? There's no consensus about what majority rules requires in such contexts. I argue that majority rules requires that the party that governs is the one that won the most votes, even if it did not win the most districts. First, I show that the best arguments for majority rules support this view and oppose its rivals. Second, I show that rivals to majority rules generate problems in practice, some of which are familiar (gerrymandering and malapportionment), but one of which is novel (non-monotonicity). Finally, I argue that the best argument for rival views, which turns on a principle about democratic representation, fails. If I’m right, there’s a clear majoritarian case for reforming all district-based democratic systems.
Please note that these seminars are open to the public and in person only.