In recent years Representation has tended to shy away from articles of a technical nature and restrict itself to the non-technical. While there may be some advantages in this course of action, it has left those with technical things to say on voting systems without a suitable outlet for their ideas and arguments. The members of the Electoral Reform Society's Technical Committee, and others, have been unhappy about this. Hence this new venture, which it is intended to circulate to those Society members who request it.
In this first issue, we reprint some earlier articles that deserve a wider circulation. Those by B L Meek, originally published over 20 years ago in French, have been available in English only as a typed and duplicated version containing many errors. These are classic papers which have led to much discussion in recent years. Whether one agrees with Meek's conclusions or not, it cannot be denied that those who argue about his method need to know what he did actually say. The article by D R Woodall was also printed with an error originally and this reprint includes the necessary correction. Although Woodall's method is basically the same as Meek's, it was entirely independently derived and it is interesting to see his different approach.
The article by C H E Warren has not been published before. It is a slightly rewritten version of a paper first submitted in 1983, but not then accepted. Warren's method is similar in spirit to the other two, but differs in the way it performs. Each of the two counting methods has an advantage over the other in some circumstances so, although a majority of the ERS Technical Committee prefer the Meek/Woodall formulation, the Warren alternative is worth bearing in mind. The final paper discusses the differences.
I D Hill Chairman, ERS Technical Committee