In Turkey, the electoral threshold is set at 10% which allows for stable governments/coalitions but creates a lot of wasted votes. On the other hand in the Netherlands there is no threshold at all which means fewer votes are wasted, but it's harder for the Dutch government to form a coalition.

But why not combine the two to achieve both at the same time? Set the electoral threshold at 10% but run the election as proportional representation with a single transferable vote. This way very few votes will be wasted, but at the same time it will be much more likely that a strong coalition could form.

Or perhaps there are already countries which implement a similar approach?

  • While these system may work with individuals (see answer from Samuel Russell) it's hard to work it out with parties. If you are, say, right-wing, your first option vote would be a right-wing party and your second choice, another one, if it exists, but never a left-wing one. And that's the problem. Since your system tends to form strong blocks, it's unlikely that minoritary parties are going to survive for long, forcing them to merge to gain electoral muscle until you just have two parties (left-right), and by then the system is useless.
    – Rekesoft
    Nov 16 '18 at 10:40
  • Are you using threshold in the sense I'm used to, where a party isn't eligible to receive any representation if its vote share is below 10%? Presumably that would be on first vote?
    – origimbo
    Nov 16 '18 at 10:51
  • @origimbo 10% of the final result, after all STV rounds Nov 16 '18 at 11:00
  • 1
    If you're doing it afterwards, how are you solving the problem of reassigning the seats that would have been awarded to the parties which are subsequently excluded? Or are you going to have a variable number of winners?
    – origimbo
    Nov 16 '18 at 11:04
  • @Rekesoft Australian senate lists are party or coalition lists. Recently minority parties have been encouraged by this system as people with a particular right wing bent can use their preference flows to strong arm the largest right wing party into adopting some of their platform, or at least catering to them. For example, a right wing Christian party can force the major right wing party to give more lip service to policies on religion in schools, even if they only get 1/14th of the vote, that preference flow represents the potential “final seat.” Australian voters seem to “get this” now. Nov 18 '18 at 0:53

Australia’s senate seats 6 or 12 in a single transferable multi member system which leaves ~ 1/7th or ~ 1/12th of votes not contributing to the election of a member. With Australia’s 2.75 party system this results in 2:2:1 ratios with the final seat(s) a result of the terminal flows of fractional transferred votes and full minor party voters. Fractional because if Fred needs 100 votes to be elected and receives 150, then his votes transfer at (50/150)th of a value to the next preference until fully used or exhausted. This ensures that each person who votes for Fred has their vote fully counted OR wasted on the final runner up.


  1. https://www.aec.gov.au/Voting/counting/senate_count.htm

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