Voting for an Inclusive Society
On safeguarding the rights of modern minorities through the “Storable Votes” electoral system
This thesis provides a basis for evaluating whether Storable Votes (Casella, 2012) can be used as method of safeguarding minority rights. To this end, a theory of minority rights must first be called upon to explain how minorities are undermined and to justify that their problems, and not others’, are addressed. Part I provides a theory of minority rights, Kymlicka’s liberal egalitarian theory, and extends it in such a way that it can be used to justify minority rights not only for national and polyethnic minorities, but also for modern minorities. This extension results in a checklist that I call ‘Kymlicka’s extended criteria’, which is used in Part II to assess the capability and desirability of Storable Votes as plausible method for addressing the problem posed by substantive minorities, i.e., as a tool for satisfying the claim that minorities have to alleviation of their established inequality. Theoretical analysis in Part II shows that Storable Votes likely will not satisfy all the criteria of Kymlicka’s extended criteria. Although Storable Votes can satisfy claims of some modern minorities by means of minority victories, elections under Storable Votes will likely not result in minority victories for all minorities that, according to the liberal egalitarian theory, have a claim to alleviation of inequality. This means that Storable Votes is unsuitable as stand-alone method to safeguard minority rights, as some minorities will be left with their claims unsatisfied. Future research must show whether Storable Votes, in tandem with another method of safeguarding minority rights (perhaps the implementation of group-specific rights), may prove advantageous for some polyethnic and modern minorities.