Michel Balinski

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Michel Balinski has made important contributions to the theory of electoral systems, namely, representation and apportionment on the one hand, and voting on the other. His 1982 book[1][2] with H. Peyton Young[3] has had direct practical application in apportioning the seats of assemblies to regions in several countries (including the UK). This work resulted in the famed Balinski–Young theorem.

He conceived and developed with others "Biproportionality" that has been adopted (as of 2014) in five of Switzerland's cantonal elections. His 2010 book with Rida Laraki[4] proposes a new theory and method of voting called majority judgment. Majority Judgment is a Cardinal voting systems where majorities determine society's evaluation of each candidate and thereby its rank-ordering of them all. This, they prove, overcomes the most important drawbacks of the traditional theory of voting (including Arrow's impossibility theorem).[5]

Another system invented by Balinski is Fair majority voting. It is a is a biproportional apportionment method with single-member regions called "districts", so each district has exactly one representative. It was proposed in 2008 as a way to eliminate the power of gerrymandering, especially in the United States.[6]


  1. Apportionment: Balinski and Young's contribution--- http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fcarc-apportionii3
  2. Donald L. Vestal, Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man, One Vote --- http://www.maa.org/press/maa-reviews/fair-representation-meeting-the-ideal-of-one-man-one-vote
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-20. Retrieved 2017-02-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. https://sites.google.com/site/ridalaraki/
  5. INFORMS award recipients: Michel L. Balinski, retrieved 2013-11-27.
  6. Balinski, Michel (2008-02-01). "Fair Majority Voting (or How to Eliminate Gerrymandering)". The American Mathematical Monthly. 115 (2): 97–113. doi:10.1080/00029890.2008.11920503. ISSN 0002-9890.