2007年10月18日 星期四

double majority

A double majority is the name given to a vote which requires a majority of votes according to two separate criteria. The mechanism is usually used to require strong support for any measure considered to be of great importance.

Examples of double majority

In the United States

Double majority is used in the United States for some votes on issues such as a tax levy or bond. This vote requires both a plurality of votes cast, and a majority of registered voters to cast votes in the election. This mechanism is used to prevent a small group from passing spending measures which affect the entire population in order to support their pet causes, especially at an election expected to have low voter turnout. Double majorities are also frequently used in municipal annexations, wherein majorities of both the residents in the annexing territory and the territory to be annexed must support the annexation.[citation needed]

In Australia

In Australia, constitutional changes must be passed at a referendum in a majority of states (4 of the 6), and by a majority of voters nationally. Prior to 1977, the votes of citizens in the Northern Territory and the ACT did not affect the national or state-based count. After a Constitution Alteration put to referendum in 1977 and given vice-regal assent on 19 July 1977, Territorial votes contribute towards the national majority, but the Territories themselves do not count towards the majority of states. Note that the territories have very small populations.

In the European Union

In the European Union, double majority voting is a form of Qualified Majority Voting which is proposed in the Draft Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe. According to this proposal, any decision taken under this scheme will require the support of at least 55% of the Council of the European Union members who must also represent at least 65% of the EU's citizens. The Draft Treaty failed to achieve ratification from France and the Netherlands, and so it is unclear when or if it will come into effect.


德国作为欧盟最大的成员国,希望可以在新条约文本通过之后在欧盟事务上获得更多的表决权。目前德国以8000万国民总数所拥有的投票数和人口6000万的法国是相同的。同时,人口数量都只是近4000万的波兰和西班牙所持有的投票数也并不比德国少多少。

如果欧盟新条约文本此次可以在峰会上通过,目前的投票数分配将会发生很大变化。之前欧盟各国领导人就“双重多数”的原则达成一致。按照这一原则,以后欧盟做出的决议不仅要求在多数国家通过的前提下生效,同时也要求决议必须代表的是欧洲多数公民的意愿。届时作为欧洲人口最多的国家,德国将会获得同之前相比明显增加的表决分量。


Switzerland

In Switzerland, the passing of a constitutional amendment by initiative requires a double majority; not only must a majority of people vote for the amendment but also a majority of cantons must also give their consent. This is to prevent a larger canton from foisting amendments onto the smaller ones and visa versa.

See also

  • This entry is related to, but not included in the elections and voting series. Other related articles can be found at the Politics Portal.

References

  • Butterworths Concise Australian Legal Dictionary, 2nd edition (2002). ISBN 0-409-31568-0
  • Europa Glossary

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