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Douglas Amy Updates
'Real Choices, New Voices'

September 2002

Real Choices/New Voices: How Proportional Representation Elections Could Revitalize American Democracy (Second Edition), by Douglas J. Amy (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002)

This is the completely revised and updated second edition of a book that is a must-have for all of those interested in reforming winner-take-all elections.

The basic theme remains the same: the need to replace our outmoded and unfair winner-take-all electoral system with a new system: proportional representation (PR). The books shows how our current single-member plurality system is responsible for many of the problems afflicting American elections, including the lack of competitive races, the under-representation of women and minorities, the two-party monopoly, wasted votes, spoiler candidates, gerrymandering, and low voter turnout. It is argued that switching to proportional representation -- the multi-member district system used by most other Western democracies -- would solve all of these problems and produce a more representative and more democratic political system.

Virtually every chapter has been extensively rewritten and updated to include new studies and recent developments in electoral system reform. There is also a new chapter entitled "PR -- A Different and Better Kind of Democracy" that explains how proportional representation produces more of what we value in democracies: greater political equality, more power sharing, broader political debate, increased political bargaining, and policies that better reflect the public will.

This new edition of Real Choices/New Voices offers a timely and imaginative way out of the frustrations of our current voting system by proposing a proven alternative that is more open, responsive and democratic. As the debate over electoral reform continues, this book will be a invaluable source of ideas and information for those interested in revitalizing American democracy.

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