Modeling Situation 7: Apportionment

Prepared by:

Joseph Malkevitch
Department of Mathematics
York College (CUNY)
Jamaica, New York 11451


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1. The legislature (Parliament) of a small (fictional) country has 200 seats.

After the recent election the parties received the following shares of votes:

Social Democrats: 18,800

Democratic Socialists: 180,600

Independent Democrats: 200,600

What is a fair way to distribute the 200 seats to the different parties?

2. What are you thoughts about there being a "threshold" such that unless a party gets at least this amount of popular support it would not be entitled to any seats in the legislature?

3. Can you think of other practical problems which have the same "structure" as this problem and, hence, by solving a problem of the kind above, one is also finding methods to solve these other problems?

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