Phragmén's Method

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Phragmén's Method is a proportional method that works without lists.

In 2002 there was a thread on the EM mailing list with subject "D'Hondt without lists" mentioning the Phragmén method.

Sketch of method:

  • Voters vote for multiple candidates. The ballot is unordered
  • Each elected candidate has a load of 1 which is distributed among his voters.
  • The load of a candidate is not distributed evenly among its N voters, but rather such that each of the candidate's voters end up with the same cumulated load.
  • The candidates are elected iteratively - in each step electing the one that results in the most even distribution of load (i.e. minimal load on the voter with the highest load - minmax)

In the case of 1 candidate to be elected, Phragméns method degenerates to Approval voting (because the candidate resulting in the minimal load on each voter is the one with most voters to share the load).