Let's say I have a number of places that I need to fill with elected candidates.

I would like people to be able to vote for the candidates using a system that does its best to end up with a diverse selection elected candidates based on a number of criteria.

Is there a generally accepted good system for this kind of election?

To make this more concrete:

  • Imagine I have 5 places to fill to form a group
  • There are a number of criteria that between them the group must satisfy.
  • Each candidate may satisfy one or more of the criteria (to be clear if a candidate satisfying a criteria is elected to the group, then the group satisfies that criteria)
  • I have multiple candidates (more than 5!) that would like to be in the group

I would like to allow "the masses" to vote on the candidates (a system with multiple votes per elector, or points, or anything else is fine) and then apply a system that will give me a group that satisfies all the necessary criteria and is as close a possible to what "the masses" voted for.

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    What do you mean by "diverse"? Enforced non-proportionality? Sep 10, 2018 at 12:17
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    An example could be Zipper lists. But the examples are to be highly dependent of the system; for example it would be easier for systems with proportional representation than for systems with single-seat constituencies.
    – SJuan76
    Sep 10, 2018 at 12:55
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    @Dan Your criteria sound complicated. Do reserved political positions come close to what you mean?
    – gerrit
    Sep 10, 2018 at 13:48
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    @curiousdannii - I was thinking along the same lines. What characteristics would be diversified? Skin color? Country of origin? Thought? Religion? Height? Gender? There are more possibilities than can be counted. How would this be done with a sample group smaller than the represented population. Sep 11, 2018 at 18:04
  • 1
    I highly advise you to look at the difference between "equality of opportunity" as opposed to "equality of outcome", you are asking for the later which is mutually exclusive with the former Sep 12, 2018 at 11:51

12 Answers 12


The system you are looking for is called reserved political positions.

Labour unions or political parties do have systems to ensure this.

For example, for a board of seven member's representatives, the elections may be pooled in three groups:

  • Five members are elected where candidates can be anyone.
  • One member is elected from an all-women shortlist.
  • One member is elected from an all-minority shortlist.

This ensures that there is always at least one woman and at least one member of a minority on the board of seven.

Many national and regional parliaments also use reserved political positions. For example, the Danish parliament reserves two seats to represent Greenland and two to represent the Faroe Isles. National and regional parliaments in India reserve seats for lower castes. Many countries reserve seats for women.

All those systems are designed to ensure that women and/or minorities have a vote in parliament.

Edit: Scott Sauyets answer describes a somewhat comparable system where the apportioning apparently happens after rather than before the elections.

  • This sound promising, is there consensus on a good way of handling things in your example if the most popular person is both female and in a minority? (Presumably the people on the all-women and all-minority lists can also be elected as part the "open" 5 positions?)
    – Dan
    Sep 10, 2018 at 13:53
  • @Dan I don't know. I suppose any individual can only be a candidate on a single list, but of course the open positions may also include women or minorities; the system ensures there is at least one of each, but there may be several.
    – gerrit
    Sep 10, 2018 at 13:58
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    Ok, I'd like to not force candidates to choose between the "open" list and a specific list as that risks reducing the amount of diversity in the final result.
    – Dan
    Sep 10, 2018 at 14:00
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    @Dan True; one could enforce this after the election, by having a single list and saying "the top N candidates are elected; if there are less than p women among the top N candidates, the top (N-p) candidates and the top p women candidates are elected". I don't know if such a system exists.
    – gerrit
    Sep 10, 2018 at 14:06
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    @AzorAhai The motivation is different. The Danish parliament is otherwise proportional representation. The people of Greenland are an ethnic minority within the Kingdom of Denmark, as are the people of the Faroe Isles.
    – gerrit
    Sep 10, 2018 at 18:30

I imagine there are other jurisdictions which have something similar to Connecticut's Minorty Representation statute, which requires that town boards and commissions have representation from more than one political party.

The process is best explained by example.

The town Basketweaving Board has seven seats, four of which are up for election this year. Of the three remaining seats, two are held by members of the Sharks Party and one by the Jets Party. The law states that there can be no more than five members of a single party on the board. It was a great year for the Sharks, and in the election, the candidates received the following votes:

║        Name        ║  Party  ║ Votes ║
║ Abby Normal        ║ Sharks  ║  1034 ║
║ Bob Builder        ║ Sharks  ║   929 ║
║ Carly Simonize     ║ Sharks  ║   722 ║
║ Debbie Little      ║ Sharks  ║   719 ║
║ Edward Ian         ║ Jets    ║   485 ║
║ Frankie Hollywood  ║ Sharks  ║   347 ║
║ Georgia Onmymind   ║ Jets    ║   242 ║
║ Howard Hopeless    ║ CWAJGA* ║     1†║

    (*) The Can't We All Just Get Along party runs every year, but never wins
    (†) His mother finally voted for someone else this year

We have to choose the top four candidates from this list. The obvious thing would be to choose the top four vote-getters, Abby, Bob, Carly, and Debbie. But that would leave the new board with six Sharks, which the statute won't allow. So Debbie does not get elected, and instead the Jets party member, Edward, with his 485 votes, gets the fourth seat.

Note that this is technically not a two-party contrivance. If Howard actually had 500 votes, he would be the one to take the minority party seat in this election, creating a party balance on the board of five Sharks, one Jet and one CWAJGA. This actually happens in a few cities. For some years in Hartford, a party to the left of the Democrats won the minority seat votes, leaving Republicans out in the cold. This is fairly rare; in practice, the system mostly ensures that both Democrats and Republicans are included on all boards.

It is easy to see how party affiliation could be replaced by gender, race, or some other characteristic for which we wanted to promote diversity. And it seems that we could do the same for multiple characteristics. Simply go down the list in order of decreasing votes and select the next candidate, unless that would include too many members of one of the candidate's characteristics. So if the next highest candidate is White Woman, but we already have five women on the board, she gets skipped, and we'd move on to the next.

It is very difficult to imagine a governmental jurisdiction employing this for any characteristic except party affiliation. And if there were multiple characteristics, it's really easy to imagine an election not being able to choose appropriate candidates with exactly the correct mix of attributes. But for non-governmental organizations, I could see something like this working.

  • It is very difficult to imagine a governmental jurisdiction employing this for any characteristic except party affiliation, why is that difficult? The system you describe sounds essentially like my comment.
    – gerrit
    Sep 11, 2018 at 8:48
  • @gerrit: It would be easy for them to implement, but I think it would be very hard to enact legislation that took into account such characteristics as race or gender in selection of board members. I simply can't imagine laws that say you cannot have more than five women, five white members, five heterosexuals, five Catholics, whatever. I think voters would not go for that. But a political party, a union, an advocacy group -- it's quite possible in these, I would think. Sep 11, 2018 at 13:55
  • @gerrit: I agree that ours are relatively similar. I think the one I describe is easier to implement, as you don't have separate pools and separate votes. But it does feel decidedly undemocratic at times. Sep 11, 2018 at 13:58
  • This seems like it would combine well with the single transferrable vote. Then, when a candidate is blocked because the remaining seats are needed for minority representatives, the votes are redistributed, rather than being ignored, keeping the voters' preferences in play. Sep 11, 2018 at 16:13
  • @TomAnderson: Agreed. I think it's relatively compatible with many voting methods, as in practice, all it does is to invalidate candidates after a threshold is passed. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if it causes the method to violate certain of Arrow's criteria, even if the method did not do so without it. I haven't really thought it through, though. Sep 11, 2018 at 19:05

There are some systems which can - if not ensure - then at least increase the likelihood of "diversity"; if by "diversity" you mean "minimal desired participation from various predesignated demographic groups".

All of those systems have their drawbacks, but they do influence the outcome.

  1. Special districting for location-based voting.

    In USA, there is a concept of a "majority minority" congressional voting district. These are the districts which are legally required - as per Voting Rights Act - to be gerrymandered (yes, gerrymandering may be legally required and seen as positive in some cases) in a way which ensures that a certain demographic minority constitutes the majority of the district voters.

    This does not guarantee diversity, but it tends to increase it, as voters in majority minority districts are more likely to vote for the demographically similar candidates.

  2. Party list voting combined with party enforcing diverse slate.

    In some countries, you vote for a party, and the first N candidates on party list get appointed, where N is based on how many votes the party got.

    A party can then either voluntarily decide to, or be legally mandated to, have a diverse slate at the start of their list.

    Again, this does not guarantee diversity, but it tends to increase it, as the choice is taken from voters' hands and handed to party apparatus selection (and enforced there).

    I was under the impression that there are examples of this in Israel (voluntary party decision), but I am having trouble finding sources to back that up.

  3. "Reserved" seats.

    In many voting systems, there are different seats; some are reserved for specific purposes.

    (this is old as dirt, with the original being the estate-based seats in French parliament).

    In some countries, there are seats which are reserved for diverse demographics. Ironically, the example I'm most familiar with is a rather unexpected one - Iran has parliamentary seats reserved for religious minorities, including Jews.

  • That last statement about the Iranian minority politicians, especially the Jews, surprised me very much. With all the anti-Semitism we here coming from them, how does that work out in practice? Wasn't it Iran that had a leader who said he wanted to wipe them off the map?
    – Aaron
    Sep 10, 2018 at 15:31
  • @Aaron - that law is from something like 1900, and simply remained on the books through the Iranian revolution.
    – user4012
    Sep 10, 2018 at 15:38
  • That makes more sense, but your link shows that there has recently been someone in that Jewish position. It makes me wonder if that is dangerous for them, or perhaps it's just a puppet position currently, or what the situation of that position might be. That then also plays well into this Q&A, as checking off OPs boxes for each criteria might not reflect reality depending on who gets in or how much influence they really have.
    – Aaron
    Sep 10, 2018 at 15:54
  • Mexico just elected a Congress and a Senate in which men and women are almost precisely equally represented (65 female senators vs. 63 males); 246 female Deputies (congressfolk) vs. 254 males. Mexico has always had closed party lists: you vote for a party, but the list and the order of candidates in the list is set by the party. For several elections, the lists have been required to alternate, but that wasn't sufficient to generate parity because men tended to be named to the first position. This year, parties were required to put women at the top of half of the lists; hence the result.
    – rici
    Sep 11, 2018 at 4:34
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    The adjective of "unexpected" in the final paragraph may be more indicative of a skewed view westerners have of Iran, than of Iran doing something unexpected. My Iranian friends (who are certainly not supportive of the regime) tell me that while there are certainly minorities that are being persecuted, Jews in Iran are doing relatively OK, notwithstanding the occasional rhetoric from the religious branch of the government.
    – gerrit
    Sep 11, 2018 at 8:52

When you let the people vote, their vote should be final. Otherwise, you are able to arbitrarily ignore election results when the outcome doesn't suit your arbitrary rules.

The idea of enforcing diversity after an election can in some cases lead to nullifying the election altogether.

There is a real life example here. Although it was never put into action, there was a suggestion for the Belgian elected officials (Senate) to be 50% male, 50% female. It sounds good, right?

Except that there was such a discrepancy between the amounts of male and female candidates, that when you did the math, you realized that every female candidate would be guaranteed a seat. That is not acceptable in a democracy.

As a simple example, let's say that 20% of your population, and therefore 20% of your candidates, have Elbonian heritage and are considered a minority.

You have 5 open seats. When applying your diversity rules, to reflect the populace's diversity in the group of elected officials, this means that you'd expect 1 elected member to be Elbonian.

As it turns out, while this is pure coincidence, all Elbonian candidates are favored by the populace. Therefore, all 5 seats are assigned to Elbonian officials.

Do you feel the need to interject a diversity rule here? That's a very dangerous precendent to set. You've effectively removed 4 out of 5 elected officials.

Alternatively, again just pure coincidence, there is only one Elbonian out of hundreds of candidates, and this candidate is not actually a good choice compared to the other candidates. Five non-Elbonians are elected to office.

Do you feel the need to interject a diversity rule here?

If you intervene and ensure that this single Elbonian candidate is given a seat, then you've effectively ensured that this candidate was always going to get a seat and therefore did not need to be elected in the first place.

Your nation has 50% religious native people, and 50% non-religious. As it turns out, due to their cultural heritage, Elbonians are almost fully all (99%) religious.

In the election, the Elbonian candidates are all non-religious (from that 1%). Do they reflect the population? If you say no, then you are effectively excluding them from being elected because of other people's life choices.

Let's say both your native populace and the Elbonians are 50% religious. The same is true of your candidates. However, as it turns out, purely coincidentally, you end up with 5 religious native elected candidates.

If you enforce diversity, how do you do it? Maybe you pick 2 religious native people and 2 non-religious, but then you've already put two people in office who were not elected.

So let's say you keep 4 elected (coincidentally religious) native officials in their seats, but you change the 5th seat to an Elbonian candidate. Let's say there are two Elbonian candidates. The one with the most votes is religious. The one in second place is non-religious.

If you want religious diversity, you'd pick the second candidate, thereby subverting the election results. If you pick the candidate with the most votes, then you end up violating your diversity rule for religious diversity.

Let's say you abandon the idea of post-election changes, and instead simply ensure that the pre-election candidate list reflects the diversity of your populace.

This sounds much better, no? Except that it completely misses the point of ensuring diversity.

Let's say there are 50 candidates allowed. 20 native religious candidates, 20 native non-religious candidates, 5 Elbonian religious candidates, 5 Elbonian non-religious candidates.

However, all candidates are left-wing, as your nation is predominantly predominantly left-wing. A right-wing candidate presents himself, who is Elbonian and non-religious.

What are you going to do?

  • Disallow him to enter unless he finds candidates to maintain the diversity? That wouldn't be fair. A candidate's electability does not hinge on whether other candidates with contrary opinions can be found.
  • Put him on the candidate list? Now your balance is upset. While one Elbonian candidate doesn't ruin the balance, 10 new Elbonian candidates will upset the balance. How do you decide which of the 10 is allowed on the list?
  • Put him on the candidate list but swap him out with another Elbonian non-religious candidate? That is an incredibly dangerous precedent. The religious Elbonian candidates could therefore improve their chances of being elected, if they can find a few Elbonians who are willing to run as non-religious on a particular platform that's so extreme and far removed from your country's political compass, that these new candidates pretty much guaranteed to not get any votes.

If you only manage your candidate list, you're effectively going to be striking a few candidates from the list. That is effectively a first election, one which happens behind closed doors. This again violates the core principle of democracy.

In a pure democracy, every candidate should be put on the ballot, every eligible voter has an equal voice, and the election result should be final.

Changing any of these parameters always infringes on the democratic principles.

  • Hi, these are good points to consider and the kind of thing that I had hoped had been considered/researched before which is why I asked the question.
    – Dan
    Sep 11, 2018 at 14:21
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    As I understand it, you are saying that the only way to be elected is to have the most votes and anything else is not democracy. I am looking for a system that takes the number of votes into account but also ensures that various criteria are met. I am hoping that there is a system that is accepted to skew the popular vote the least whilst meeting the criteria. If it helps you can assume that the electorate also believe that the criteria are important and should be met and are fully aware of the system before casting their votes.
    – Dan
    Sep 11, 2018 at 14:41
  • @Dan: I used vote counting as the simplest example. My argument is that bother altering the outcome or redacting the candidate list are easy backdoors into circumventing the democratic process. The same argument applies with e.g. a transferrable vote but it's even harder to deal with: which party has to change their choice in order to comply with the globally decided diversity standard?
    – Flater
    Sep 11, 2018 at 14:49
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    @Dan I am looking for a system that takes the number of votes into account but also ensures that various criteria are met. You've got a conflict of interest here. Who decides the diversity criteria? Elected officials. Who benefits from carefully selected diversity criteria? Elected officials. Who can contest an elected official's position? A counter candidate, but even if elected, they might not get to office due to the diversity criteria.
    – Flater
    Sep 11, 2018 at 14:52
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    @Dan: Think of it this way: I let my child choose where we eat dinner, and I then add on some subtle rules (name cannot have an apostrophe, cannot have "ie" in its name, cannot have royalty in its name). I have technically not told my child that they're not allowed to pick fast food, but I have effectively removed the choices that are ("coincidentally") fast food (McDonald ' s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King). In effect, I pretend that my child has the freedom to choose while in reality I maintain control. That is what's wrong with not making votes an absolute.
    – Flater
    Sep 11, 2018 at 15:14

There is a system, and while I have not seen it used in politics much, I have seen it used in businesses and especially non-profit companies. I have heard it called "Reserved Spot" or "Reserved Diversity" elections.

You asked for a good system, and that's a bit subjective. This "Reserved Diversity" system has a few very large flaws, but I will explain how it works first.

In general, there are specifically protected statuses that the board or governing body want to make sure are represented. The normal examples are race, gender, and sexuality. Votes are collected in a normal way and then a table is drawn up that shows votes, and "special status". For example:

+ John   |              | 10,000+ 
+ Jake   |              |  5,000+
+ Julian |              |  2,500+
+ Joe    |              |  1,250+ 
+ Josh   |              |    750+
+ Jane   | Black, Female|    375+ 
+ Jill   | Female       |     10+
+ James  | LGBTQ        |      5+

Now the votes are counted and the board needs to fill 5 spots. With a "normal" process John, Jake, Julian, Joe, and Josh, would be elected. But that doesn't meet the required diversity, so John, Jake, Julian, Jane, and James are Elected instead. The required diversity is achieved.

There are some good outcomes to this system and some bad. Rather its "good" overall is a bit subjective but, in general, the pros are:

  • Every group is represented, even if an extreme minority.
  • In theory, this prevents actions that would affect one group more than others.
  • Every person in the company (or group) is supposed to feel that their interests are being represented.
  • Media can be told how diverse the company is because they have protected statuses at the top.
  • Tax breaks are possible because there are protected statuses at the top.

In general, there are cons as well:

  • Voters did not get who they wanted as a whole.
  • People were elected based on special status and not any other merit. For example, James was elected, but almost no one voted for him. Even if it's his special status that makes him such a low vote count, that has no indication that he knows what he is doing.
  • Picking people based on status is a form of discrimination, even if it generally a "positive" one.
  • Not every special status is represented, for example, Jane, is a black female so black female interests have a spot, but what about black males?
  • The people that are elected because of special status are very easy to marginalize. Because they represent such a small percentage of votes, their issues are rarely given any traction. For example, James suggests a trans-gender bathroom, but it's voted down without though because he only has 5 votes. At the same time, someone introduces a new policy that if you have a penis you use the men's bathroom. That one passes, despite James's objections, because again, he has such a small vote.

Rather or not such a system works, is a benefit, or is just lip service, is really up in the air. There are many problems, but every problem has a solution. The general argument for is that now everyone is represented, at least a little, while the argument against is generally that the representation is "token" and hard to actually use to any effect.

I would also like to point out that the system is most effectively used when limited. For example, a board of "parents" is usually going to consist of women. Having a "Reserved Spot" for a man, and that being the only kind of reserved spot, usually works much better than a system that tries to create a reserved spot for every special status. It also tends to work better when the spots being filled make sense. For example, a board on a non-profit that works in communities to raise awareness of female sex trafficking is better served by having a "spots" reserved for women that have been a victim of sex trafficking.

TL;DR: There is a system, it has its flaws, but you can decide whether or not it fits your needs. Whether it is an overall good or overall bad is subjective.

  • Is there anywhere you know where edge cases are dealt with (e.g. how to choose if multiple combinations of people fulfil the special requirements)? I've searched on the names you mention and can't find anything.
    – Dan
    Sep 12, 2018 at 9:30
  • Mostly I know this from different companies. To be honest their reason for implementing a system like this is usually "to check the boxes". If you have a black female LGBTQ board member, then how you can please all three groups at once and only take up one spot. Essentially it's "Do we have a female member? Yes. Do we have a minority member? Yes. Do we have an LGBTQ member? Yes. It's never "asked," or "mentioned," that all three "spots" are filled by the same person.
    – coteyr
    Sep 12, 2018 at 15:46

Voting is a way to create consent of the masses, not ensure diversity. The only way to ensure diversity is to create a system that breaks the one man one vote rule, which ruins the legitimacy of votes and likely makes votes from those who are worth less to not matter at all. Diversity isn't something that can be managed through voting, because it is outcome focused and voting is about opportunity.

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    I would like the masses to consent to many things, but that doesn't mean they will.
    – David Rice
    Sep 10, 2018 at 13:08
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    @Dan - that is done through the "deliberation" (aka convincing, propaganda, etc...) part of the political process, not voting.
    – user4012
    Sep 10, 2018 at 13:17
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    Diversity isn't something that can be managed through voting, that's simply wrong. There are several examples where it is, therefore it can be.
    – gerrit
    Sep 10, 2018 at 13:43
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    Enforcing “one man one vote” has nothing to do with the question at hand: suppose, as an elementary example, that every voter had to choose between a very large number of lists, with every possible proportion of political orientations etc., and each list is composed in a given proportion by minorities etc. Say the most voted list becomes the chosen parliament/committee. We respect the o.m.o.v. rule and the diversity. Not saying that this would be a good method, but only that I don't see any incompatibility between that rule and adding further requisites (which are always added anyhow).
    – DaG
    Sep 10, 2018 at 15:40
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    @Dan, what do you do when voters do not want diversity? Who decides when a voter's preference should be overridden to achieve a desired outcome, and who determined that that "desired outcome" was, well, desirable?
    – Michael J.
    Sep 10, 2018 at 18:12

The simplest (possibly naivest!) means of achieving this would be:

  1. Hold the ballot with all candidates in a single pool/list. It doesn't really matter what kind of vote: single vote per person, single transferrable vote, ranked & weighted votes, etc. As long as the result allows the candidates to be ranked in order of overall preference.
  2. Elect the highest-ranked candidate who fulfils at least one of the desired criteria.
  3. Elect the highest-ranked candidate who fulfils at least one of the unfulfilled criteria.
  4. If there are criteria left unfulfilled, repeat from step 3.
  5. Elect any remaining seats from the top of the list of remaining candidates.

Please do comment if I've missed anything (glaringly obvious or otherwise) which would make this unsuitable.

  • 3
    Welcome to the site! The question does ask for an existing electoral method which satisfies their requirement, not just something that seems reasonable. Can you show that someone uses (or has used) this method? Sep 10, 2018 at 17:08
  • @indigochild thanks for the welcome and the feedback. Very good point, more research required for me to make this answer valid.
    – IanF1
    Sep 10, 2018 at 17:08
  • This is the kind of thing I was after, but yes some backup that it’s a “good” system would be useful. Academic research would also be acceptable to me, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a system widely in use.
    – Dan
    Sep 10, 2018 at 19:13
  • @Dan I'm afraid I have neither at present. I'll continue looking but if anyone else has the evidence Dan is looking for, feel free to edit in.
    – IanF1
    Sep 10, 2018 at 19:45

It really depends on your definition of diversity. If you're defining it as having the most radically-different representatives, you'd need to change the population that is voting, not the voting system. If, however, you mean representation that more closely matches the diversity that already exists within the electorate, Ranked Choice is probably your best bet.

By all voters ranking everyone on the ballot, the candidate that is eventually elected will be much more likely to represent the common values of each specific community. Because while Joe might put the eat-bacon candidate first and pet-pigs candidate last (and Jack puts pet-pigs first and eat-bacon last), both still have to rate the pet-kittens and eat-ice-cream candidates. So while there are quite a few eat-bacon fanatics and quite a few pet-pigs fanatics, the vast majority chose eat-ice-cream as their second choice, and thus eat-ice-cream wins. This is not going to escalate the most radical policy positions of any given community, but will represent each community's most-shared values.

  • 2
    There are lots of "ranked choice" voting systems, and they can produce very different outcomes.
    – endolith
    Sep 10, 2018 at 23:47

The list system is a little like what you want but I think it would have to be altered quite a bit if you want the actual results to match some demographic criteria.

My country does not use the list system so I'm only familiar with it from reading about it so I'm likely to have misunderstood something. However, if we take an example of an election in which 5 parties are competing. Each one makes a list of their candidates and individual voters vote for a party not an individual. If Party A gets enough votes to elect 9 people then the first 9 people from the list are elected, B gets 14 people, C gets 4, D get 2 and E gets 1.

To achieve what you want electoral law would require each parties list to be demographically diverse. This seems quite like the system of zipper lists that SJuan76 mentioned in a comment above but it allows a bit more flexibility. This won't necessarily result in the exact split desired. In the example numbers I gave above if there was a rule that said every 5th person should be X we would only get 3 (2 from B and one from A) out of 30 elected (10% instead of 20%). In addition cases of special elections with one one role to fill would either have to be outside the system or require everyone to field a candidate that fits the demographic that isn't fully represented and this is usually seen as undesirable.


An alternative democratic process that could be used for this purpose is Sortition

Basically this samples the general population to select representatives and by doing so should reflect the demographic distributions of the population.


I don't know if this is for government or administration, and nothing is guaranteed for elected politicians, but:

  1. Hong Kong has an interesting system of electing a plurality of representatives from competent voter classes.

  2. I suggested steps for such a system when I drafted The People's Party.

...Perhaps you should just get creative like I did.

  • This is an interesting answer, but I feel it lacks some information for each of the two points to make a good one: 1. what is the interesting part within Hong Kong's electoral system? 2. Are you referring to this party? Maybe it is common knowledge within US, but no so outside of it.
    – Alexei
    Sep 10, 2018 at 19:12
  • Sure thing, 1. SCMP has a great article: scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2011216/… ...They basically give legislative seats to the top several winners of a voting district/constituency. 2. By "People's Party" I was referring to my own draft, this: peoples3party.com
    – Jesse
    Sep 12, 2018 at 14:59
  • Please include the reference in the answer and provide a glimpse from the article content (helps when the link is no longer valid). E.g: There are 70 seats in Legco and 35 go to candidates in the geographical constituencies. Each geographical constituency has a fixed number of seats to fill, determined by the constituency’s population size. Hong Kong uses proportional representation to return its lawmakers.. Also, the second point should be developed.
    – Alexei
    Sep 12, 2018 at 15:02
  • 1. Quote from article: "Hong Kong’s voting system is more than a simple popularity contest. Its aim is to use proportional representation to allocate seats in the Legislative Council." The point is they have multiple winners, not only first place. 2. The People's Party, as I laid it out in the book (link) requires a. cooperation across parties,b. differences within the party, and c. local government exemptions for those differences. For any more details, I already wrote the book once and the details are in it. The question is revolutionary, which can take research. There's a direction.
    – Jesse
    Sep 13, 2018 at 0:39

I don't know if this already exist or not, but you can divide your candidates into 2 groups, M(ajority) and m(inority). Obviously m < M is a must, but the percentage would have to come from the demography of current voters AND the latest definition of what counts as minority, as some new groups might be recognized as one in between 2 elections, and some old ones might have naturally died out of existence or somehow multiplied into a new majority. We'll leave the calculation to the statistic guys on the electoral board, to come up with a formula for fair distribution of numbers, M vs m. Remember that the percentage might differ for every election even when using the same formula.

In this system we reward a voter with another voting right when they choose to help in 'diversifying' the results. That means, voters can choose to have 1 vote or 3 votes. They can do anything with their one vote, give it to 1 of the M candidates, or 1 of the m candidates or not use it at all. To get 3 votes, at least 1 of them has to be given to one of m candidates, but not all 3. Voters may not vote, or vote 1 M, or 1 m, or 2 M and 1 m, or 2 m and 1 M. This way, more people get to vote for m candidates with the option of extra votes, even if this can be seen as 'meddling by the majority' by some people.

The total votes for all m candidates can be used to determine the maximum seat allocation for that pre-listed criteria needed on the board (taking the percentage of all votes casted). Let's say 40% of the votes went to m group as a whole, they get 4 out of 10 seat, maximum. But if the top 3 m candidates already represented all the criteria needed amongst them, then the M group get 7 seats for their top 7 candidates.

This way, minority candidates compete amongst themselves for seats, with the help of extra votes from both '2M1m-outsiders' and supporters alike (those who voted 2m1M), but all voters worked together to determine how diverse the final board get to be. They could opt to directly 'meddle' in another's affair, or choose to keep to themselves with just their original 1 vote.

edit OK, I must have gotten lost somewhere and should have made it clear before that minority means that the candidates in m group are those with rare / specialized criteria. You could say that if there are < 5% (or any suitable numerical value) of candidates who can satisfy one specific criteria, then all of them should be put in m group.

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