The Veterans Formula of the Supreme Court Contradicts the Principle of Proportional Representation

Muga is an associate professor at the Mathematics Department of the Ateneo de Manila University. This article was published in the Opinion Section, Yellow Pad Column of BusinessWorld, May 14, 2007 edition, page S1/5.

On 13 April 2007, the Supreme Court denied the petition of CIBAC Party-List for a second seat in Congress following the 2004 party-list election. The high court emphasized that the formula to compute the additional number of party-list seats must be consistent with its decision in Veterans Federation Party, et al v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 136781).

The following theorem explains the root of the contradiction of the Veterans Formula on the principle of proportional representation.

Suppose that the seat allocation method used in a given party-list election is the Veterans Formula and let 1/(total no. of party-list seats) be called the simple quota.

The Veterans Formula negates the principle of proportional representation on a party-list group if the total number of party-list seats is greater than 50 and

1. if the percent share of votes of the party-list group is greater than or equal to the simple quota but is less than 2% of the total votes;

2. if the percent share of votes of the concerned party-list group is at least twice as large as the simple quota but is less than one-half of the percent share of votes of the first party.

3. if the percent share of votes of the concerned party-list group is at least three times as large the simple quota but is less than the percent share of votes of the first party.

4. if the percent share of votes of the concerned party-list group is at least four times as large as the simple quota.

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