Juan Cole continues to be confused about the electoral system being used in
Today, he tries to explain this system, calling upon the services of Andrew Arato:
- The number of votes required to gain a seat (the natural threshold) will be determined by the number of total valid votes cast . A maximum estimation of 14,270,000 valid votes would create an initial threshold of 51,891 votes to gain a seat; 10 million votes would require 36,363 votes; and, 5 million votes would require 18,181 votes.
- The chosen electoral formula (the Hare formula) proceeds after the natural threshold calculation based on the “largest remainder”. In effect, this means that subsequent seats (for lists that pass the natural threshold) cost fewer votes.
Impossible to understand, no.
Cooked up by the Neocons, doubt it.
UPDATE, Monday morning: Juan Cole now admits that he doesn't understand the electoral system, and ends his post with more gobbledygook from Arato (who seems to be a smart fellow when it comes to other subjects). In an earlier post picked up by my RSS reader, Cole even contested whether the Hare system was being used -- because all press reports only talked about voting for one list. But now he's dropped that assertion, and leaves the reader with two of the wikipedia references I've noted for further reference.
If he hadn't backed off, I would have mentioned that only under a Hare system could the votes for the UIA jumped from 133 to 140. Otherwise, they would have picked up only one more vote at the most, under a simpler largest remainder system (like the one used in El Salvador).
Mea Culpa, Feb. 26: In response to Andrew Arato's comment here, I checked in with an academic friend who's an expert on electoral systems. Seems I was confused, but he also managed to explain what was going on here more clearly than either of Cole's posts:
The overrep of larger parties here does not have to do with Hare vs. D'hondt (or any other divisor system). Rather, the Iraqi rule holds that in order to be eligible to win any seats, a list must clear a threshold of one full Hare quota first (Total votes/275). That is, you can't win remainders seats without getting at least one by full quota. So all the votes won by all the lists that didn't get at least a quota (99 lists, I think) are wasted. The beneficiaries of that, of course, are the parties that cleared the TV/275 threshold -- that's where the seat bonus comes from.At least I'm glad to see Arato didn't challenge my citation of Cole's ridiculous charge months ago that led off this post.