What is majority rule?

  • (noun): The doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group.
    Synonyms: democracy

Majority Rule

Majority rule is a decision rule that selects alternatives which have a majority, that is, more than half the votes. It is the binary decision rule used most often in influential decision-making bodies, including the legislatures of democratic nations. Some scholars have recommended against the use of majority rule, at least under certain circumstances, due to an ostensible trade-off between the benefits of majority rule and other values important to a democratic society. Most famously, it has been argued that majority rule might lead to a "tyranny of the majority", and the use of supermajoritarian rules and constitutional limits on government power have been recommended to mitigate these effects. Recently some voting theorists have argued that majority rule is the rule that best protects minorities.

Read more about Majority Rule.

Some articles on majority rule:

Social Choice And Individual Values - Introduction
... to analysis of the voting paradox from use of majority rule as a value ... Voter 1 A B C Voter 2 B C A Voter 3 C A B By majority rule for 2-candidate votes, A beats B, B beats C, but C beats A ... Majority rule works for an individual selecting consistently among the 3 candidates but not necessarily for the "social choice" in any general sense Arrow asks whether other methods of taste ...
Ian Smith - Political Career - Rise To Premiership and Negotiations For Independence
... in the 1962 general election, in which the RF won a slim majority and formed a government at the first time of asking ... to the British government's insistence that Rhodesia introduce majority rule before independence, and believed that "Perfidious Albion" (as he called it) was going back on numerous promises of independence ... Minister, Smith announced there would be no plans to bring Rhodesia under "black majority rule" in his lifetime later, in his memoirs, Smith ...
Majority Rule - Limitations - Arguments Against Limitations - Other Arguments Against Limitations
... Some argue that deliberative democracy flourishes under majority rule ... They argue that under majority rule, participants always have to convince more than half the group at the very least, while under supermajoritarian rules participants might only need to persuade a minority ... Another argument for majority rule is that within this atmosphere of compromise, there will be times when a minority faction will want to support the proposal of another faction in exchange ...
Condorcet Method
... is any election method that elects the candidate that would win by majority rule in all pairings against the other candidates, whenever one of the candidates has that property ... A Condorcet winner doesn't always exist because majority preferences can be like rock/paper/scissors for each candidate, there can be another that is preferred by some majority ... The Robert's Rules method for voting on motions and amendments is also a Condorcet method even though the voters do not vote by expressing their orders of preference ...
Criteria Of Truth - Majority Rule
... Majority rule is a statistical method of accepting assertions and proposals ... In democratic systems, majority rule is used to determine group decisions, particularly those relating to personal morality and social behavior ... While majority rule may make for a good democratic system, it is a poor determinant of truth, subject to the criticisms of the broad version of consensus gentium ...

Famous quotes containing the words rule and/or majority:

    The only rule is, do what you really, impulsively, wish to do. But always act on your own responsibility, sincerely. And have the courage of your own strong emotion.
    —D.H. (David Herbert)

    There is something wonderful in seeing a wrong-headed majority assailed by truth.
    John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)