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# Fairness Criteria, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 580

Essay

Appointment issues arise every time a set of similar indivisibles objects ought to be distributed among a certain group of claimants in line with the proportion of their claims. Legislative seat distribution mainly motivates the discussion on fairness criteria in Young’s chapter 3. Young highlights several fairness criteria within the chapter to address the various apportionment problems.

Hamilton and Jefferson’s methods are among the fairness criteria that Young highlights in the chapter. The main idea of fairness in the two methods is that each state should receive its exact portion of seat referred to as quota. A quota of a state represents the fraction that the population of the state represents the entire population, multiplied by the total seat number. In this particular method, the Hamilton method conditions that each state should first be given the integer parts of its quota. In case any seats remain, each should be allocated to the states that have the highest fractional remainders. Jefferson, a cabinet rival to Hamilton, proposed a very different approach to solve apportionment problems.

The Jefferson method states that a common divisor that represents the target number of individuals per congressional district should be selected first. Then the divisor should be divided into the population in every state to obtain quotients, as well as give each state the whole number in their quotients. In case all the seats allocated through this process end up being too large, the divisor should then be increased. On the other hand, if the total is too small, then the divisor ought to be decreased until a specific value is obtained apportioning seat numbers correctly. The Hamilton method is quite fair and appropriate to both the large and small states; the idea of awarding the extra seats to the states with the highest fractional remainder ensures equity. The Jefferson method, on the other hand, favors large states while the small states remain disfavored; as such, the method is biased and thus unappropriated to solve apportionment problems.

Several other fairness criteria are quite appropriate and should have been included in the chapter. The first is the majority criterion; it is simple as it states that a candidate that gets a majority first position votes ought to be the ultimate winner. This should also apply to the seat apportioning per congressional district. The other one is the Condorcet criterion, which states that a candidate or, in this case, a state that gets majority head to head matchups with entirely the other candidates ought to be declared the victor. Monotonicity criterion is also another appropriate rule in solving apportionment problems. In this criterion, it indicates that after an election is conducted and the victor is affirmed, he or she should persist being the winner in whatever revolt in which every preference vicissitudes favor the victor of the initial election. The criterion is quite simple and fair because it protects the integrity of the election, as well as the rights of the winner against any violations.

Comparatively, other fairness criteria such as the independence of irrelevant alternatives criterion are relatively much better. This is because they take into account the events that might arise after the election is conducted. They not only handle the apportioning of seats but also take into consideration the rights of the winning candidate or state. However, this does not mean that fairness in apportioning is not vital in solving eminent disagreements but every criterion ought to consider every possible eventuality that might arise before and after an election.

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