What composes a "system of apportionment"? If a system of apportionment is to be devised to accommodate and pursue certain values, the system must be sufficiently understood, together with its effects upon neighboring systems. An aircraft is designed as a mechanical-human system (e.g., the bomber) in relation to a human organization(e.g., the Navy), in relation to a coordinate system (e.g., the Marines), in relation to superordinate systems (e.g., foreign policy). Similarly, an appointment is a system of human organization related intimately to a larger election system that is in turn related to governmental institutions, such as the executive branch or the bureaucracy, and is done in relation to the ways in which men live and desire to live (private and public policies).
Listed next is a set of criteria for describing an election system. Apportionment systems are included within it.
Character of Officer
Title of position
General location of constituency
Tenure of Office:
Indefinite, months or years, or other
Minimum age requirement
Type of residency requirement
Party nomination needed
Primary election provided
Literacy and how tested
Fees, nominal or substantial
Real property ownership
Number of acres
Personal property required and amount
Tax payment, amount required
Military, legal, religious, other professional, trades
Master, managerial, business entrepreneurial, or other
Seniority, private functional, private functional representative of official, public office holding, military, legal
Religious, other professional, trades, managerial, business
Entrepreneurial, fraternal, or other
Number of offices of the same qualification filled at the same time
(*) Number of officers appointed or elected at the same time from other levels of government
Number of officers of the same grade in the same constituency
General functions of the officer
Major or minor policy
Major or minor administrative
Judicial, including judicial policy
Character of Constituency
Size of constituency in population
Approximate size of constituency in travel time (for historical cases adjust time according to the age)
Manner in which constituency is grouped and derived
By survey (including specifications of compactness and contiguity)
Existing independent jurisdiction
General functions of constituency during the tenure of the officer
Provisions for the adjustment of constituency specifications
Natural constituencies or other Residence qualifications of constituents
Age qualification of constituents
Political qualifications of constituents
Office holder, public or private
Banning of outlawed party members
Banning of outlawed political activists
Sex limitations on constituency
Penal or mental disqualifications
Real property requirements
Personal property requirements
Tax paying requirements
Experience of constituents
Requirement of belonging to special groups such as military, legal,religious, or trade
Instructions: voluntary, compulsory, or forbidden
Procedures of Selection
The type of ballot
Printed, balls or other kinds
Mode of casting ballot
No formal vote
Public or other type of tally
Specified or unspecified
Mail, or other unassembled
Size of voting district
One vote to one candidate
Weighted preferences on ballot
Weighted preferences in counting
One vote for list or slate
Majority of electorate
Majority of voters
Majority of specified quorum
Plurality of electorate
Plurality of voters
Plurality of specified quorum
Two-thirds majority, unspecified
Other two-thirds majority type
Unanimity of voters or electorate
Unanimity of specified quorum
A portion of constituents for officer selected to the total constituents
Unspecified beyond "election"
Unspecified beyond "appointment"
Limits on Compaigning
Limitation of expenditures
Limitation of propaganda
Limitation of agitation (meetings, assemblies, etc.)
1From Alfred de Grazia, Apportionment and Representative Government (Praeger) pp. 13-16.
Despite its length, the list still only summarizes many types of variable. Thus, in regard to the one item marked (*), at least sixteen combinations for holding elections on different levels of government are possible. Each combination results in different turnout, issues, and even candidates. One might note, too, how many ways of counting the winner there are; the majority principle is common, but many other principles, such as the plurality, are used. As with the twenty-six-letter alphabet that can provide millions of words, the basic elements of any election system can provide millions of differing effects.
To summarize thus far: An applied science of equality in apportionment will exist when the following events occur:
We know what apportionment systems are and understand their effects, both directly and in relation to our institutions, particularly the electoral institutions.
We know the effects of present systems of apportionment (or at least those under consideration) upon the human beings of the apportioned population.
We set a goal for equality in apportionment. We have a particular definition of equality so that we can say: Equality of apportionment is said to be present when we have in being a given set of conditions.
We have the power to bring into being the apportionment system that produces the equality being sought, with only those effects upon other parts of the environment that have been foreseen and accepted.
The "equi-populous district" system is a system whereby a population is divided into equal numbers of people as these people reside "on the map." I have demonstrated in earlier writings that there are several assumptions hidden behind even this limited definition and that in any event we can only approach, say, within 5 per cent of this ideal, using population of all ages and types as the basis of the apportionment and striving to make the equal numbers criterion the absolute one.