Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre (ECON), Karlsruhe
This is the last of four papers devoted to the 2021 German federal elections continuing our analysis of the 2009, 2013 and 2017 Bundestag elections. It is shown that the policy representation by the Bundestag could be improved using the alternative Third Vote election method. Under the Third Vote, electors cast no votes for parties by name. The electoral ballot consists of questions on topical policy issues ('General speed limit on motorways?'-Yes/No, 'Germany should increase its defense spending?'-Yes/No, etc.), and the parties answer to these questions before the elections - as required by the Wahl-O-Mat, the German voting advice applications. However, the Third Vote is not concerned with individual advices or individual voting intermediation. The electoral ballots are processed to construct the electorate's policy profile with balances of public opinion on all the issues. Then the matching of the parties' profiles with the electorate's profile is measured using the parties' indices of popularity (average percentage of electors represented on all the issues) and universality (percentage of questions when a majority is represented). These indices of representativeness are used instead of the conventional index 'number of votes received' to define the party quotas in the Bundestag. This method is hypothetically applied to reallocate the Bundestag seats to the eligible parties, resulting in a considerable gain in the Bundestag's representativeness. Finally, we discuss mixed election procedures combining the Third Vote with the conventional voting by party name and analyze possible implications.
Representative democracy elections theory of voting proportional representation