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A voting game can be looked at from the angle of the individual players, or from that of the designer of the voting game. In the former perspective, it is natural to ask what the ‘value’ of the game to each of the players is. As stressed in Sects. 1.2 and 1.3, ‘value’ can refer to a player’s ability to change the outcome of a voting game, or to the payoffs he may reasonably expect, but in both cases the game enters the analysis as input. From the designer’s perspective, by contrast, the input is a desired value for the individual players, and the problem is to construct a voting game which induces it. This idea, that human interaction can be subjected to deliberate design, possibly most warrants the label ‘political’. Assessing the rules of existing political bodies and devising new rules is the foremost area of application for power indices (see Sect. 1.2.1).
This chapter is devoted to one instance of such an institutional design problem: finding a weighted voting rule which implements the principle of ‘one person, one vote’ in a two-tiered government system. Weighted voting is used in many important political bodies such as the EU Council of Ministers, the US Electoral College, and the International Monetary Fund, as well as in some cartels, such as the International Coffee Council. The choice of weights is often a source of considerable dissent in these bodies. With respect to the European Union, the Single European Act of 1986 comprised provisions that weighted voting under a qualified majority rule should be applied for most decisions in the Council of Ministers concerning the Single Market. Like the earlier Treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam, the Treaty of Nice, which was settled by the governments of the EU member states in December 2000, extended the use of qualified majority rule to new policy domains. Here, as well as at earlier occasions, e.g., the 1995 enlargement to Austria, Finland, and Sweden, the voting weights and quota proved to be a bone of contention. The controversy regained its momentum at the Council of the European Union (the ‘EU Summit’) in June 2007 due to Poland’s lobbying for a square-root allocation of weights in the Council of Ministers.
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- Committees as Representative Institutions
Dr. Nicola F. Maaser
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
- Chapter 2
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