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Equal Representation in Two-tier Voting Systems

The paper investigates how voting weights should be assigned to differently sized constituencies of an assembly. The one-person, one-vote principle is interpreted as calling for a priori equal indirect influence on decisions. The latter are elements of a one-dimensional convex policy space and may result from strategic behavior consistent with the median voter theorem. Numerous artificial constituency configurations, the EU and the US are investigated by Monte-Carlo simulations. Penrose’s square root rule, which originally applies to preference-free dichotomous decision environments and holds only under very specific conditions, comes close to ensuring equal representation. It is thus more robust than previously suggested.