In 1900 a young Icelandic official, Páll Briem, published in print a lecture he had delivered on elections. He based his arguments on 25 years’ experience of elections to parliament in Iceland and the rapid spread of the right to vote in Western Europe, making reference to the work of several scholars in the field (Hare, Andræ, D’Hondt and Cassel). Someone who, like us, had heard of sequential choice and fund voting, would have been able to give him and the audience at his lecture something to think about.
He criticized the division of the country into constituencies, firstly because this placed constraints on voters who wanted to have a broader perspective than the constituency, i.e. they would wish to take account of the interests of the country as a whole, and secondly because it suppressed minority views (in the case of single-representative constituencies), since a view that enjoyed the support of many people who nevertheless formed a minority in every constituency went unrepresented in parliament.
It would have been interesting for the audience who attended his lecture to learn that by adopting sequential choice for representatives to parliament, whole groups of candidates with a variety of views, broad and narrow, could stand for election, and the various minorities could have their representatives within these groups (cf. Section II.C.2, Electing a committee using sequential choice).
Briem considered it important that a body of representatives should be appointed using proportional representation to reflect the make-up of the voting population. The audience would have been interested to have been told that using fund voting in a body of representatives influences results of issues so that they turn out to be proportional in the long run (see the previous section).
The objection could be made that a hundred years ago the drawbacks of sequential choice and fund voting would probably have been that the calculation of points in sequential choice and the counting of votes in fund voting would have proved exceedingly cumbersome. Nowadays the situation is different, since computers, well suited for this purpose, are easily accessible.