From Yannis' answer to What are the reasons against plural voting?:

...similarly to how forms of weighted voting are not generally considered undemocratic and are practiced and widely accepted in several democratic countries and institutions.

Question: What are the most known examples of weighed voting that are practiced in democratic countries?

  • Do you mean proportional voting system? Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 13:22
  • Related: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/666/… Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 14:18
  • In 2003, then Austrian Minister of Economy Martin Bartenstein proposed a family voting scheme, whereby parents (the father? the mother?) would receive one extra vote for each of their children. Bartenstein is a member of the conservative party. The proposal went nowhere. This also holds for a similar initiative (Familienwahlrecht) in Germany.
    – Drux
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 0:36

1 Answer 1


Weighted voting is, simply put, a collective decision making process where votes are explicitly assigned unequal weights. It's actually a quite common approach in international bodies, notably followed in one form or another by:

  • The European Parliament (degressive proportionality),
  • The European Council (qualified majority voting),
  • The International Monetary Fund,
  • UN's Security Council.

A less obvious example is proportional representation. Several countries that follow the approach for national elections also employ minimum election thresholds and/or plurality bonuses, to avoid extreme fragmentation and maximize the chance of electing a strong government respectively. Both are weighted voting elements, and adding a bit of history to the mix creates complex examples, like Cyprus:

  • 56 members of the House of Representatives are elected by proportional representation,
  • 24 seats are allocated to the Turkish community (but remain vacant since 1964), and
  • 3 seats are allocated to the Armenian, Latin and Maronite minorities.

Moving on, a perhaps more clear cut example on a national level is single transferable vote, the approach followed in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta, Australia (for electing the Senate), India (by state legislatures), and... Stack Exchange community moderator elections ;)

Lastly, the US Electorate College is a prime example of weighted voting, disproportionally favouring the less populous states.

  • 2
    Didn't we arrive at a consensus that SE is a tyranny, not a democracy? :))))) +1
    – user4012
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 14:16
  • 1
    @DVK The democracy is the tyranny of the majority, so they are both tyrannies Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 0:30

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