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date: 25 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes a mechanism for allocating cabinet ministries, considered to be indivisible goods, to political parties in a parliamentary government according to the proportion of seats that each party holds in a parliament. It precludes the usual bargaining and horse trading over how many, and which, ministries each party will get by using one of two apportionment schemes that prescribe the order of choice in which parties, based on their size, choose ministries. It was used, in modified form, to allocate ministries to each of the major Catholic and Protestant political parties in Northern Ireland in 1999.

Keywords: fair division, apportionment, cabinet ministries, bargaining in parliaments, Northern Ireland

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