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Voting in Europe

March 20, 1992



Regarding the article "Motivating Americans to Vote - Some Look to European Solutions," March 12: If you're going to run headlines about "European solutions" to the current US electoral system, then talk about proportional representation (PR). This article doesn't even mention it.

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As practiced in Germany, PR allows voting both for individual candidates (top vote-getter wins, like here) and for party lists of candidates, who are then seated in the legislature according to the proportion of the total vote their party won. The result is that small parties and their constituents aren't shut out, and around 90 percent of voters vote in national elections.

To tackle the "voters' will" problem, give the people a system in which their third-party vote will count as more than a futile protest. Philip H. Beard, Santa Rosa, Calif.

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