In 2005, parties that got the most votes appointed members for seats. This time, an “open ballot” will allow voters to choose individual candidates within parties.
Of course, the article–which is actually quoting a UN envoy–propagates the common ignorance of how closed-list systems, including in Iraq in 2005 work*: parties “appointing” members, as if those elected members had not been nominated to their ranked positions on lists prepared before the election.
I continue to wonder, however, if this system really is open list, or something else. For instance, some time ago I had an e-mail from someone in Iraq–someone I do not know but who seemed to know what he was talking about–who said, in part:
We’re looking at an open list system with non-transferable votes–once a candidate receives enough votes to be elected, any extras do not accrue to his or her party.
This is similar to some vague references to “hybrid” that I quoted in the original discussion, liked above.
The quote from my correspondent in Iraq could be interpreted as SNTV, rather than open lists. What sort of list system throws away votes for a candidate beyond those needed to be elected? Or perhaps it is SNTV, but with pooling of losers’ votes, but not of winner’s surplus? That would be odd, but I suppose it is possible. (I have e-mailed back and hope to get a clarification.)
UPDATE: A post from September at a blog called Abu Muqawama has a description that reads for me as precisely open-list PR. However, he contrasts this “OLPR” system with one he calls “OL,” by which he evidently means what the rest of us would call SNTV. This terminological issue appears to be the source of the confusion that implies OLPR is a hybrid of PR and something else rather than just one of the alternative forms of list PR.
* The only confirmed exception being Nepal’s recent election, apparently.