[EM] The Hippopotamus Logic

donald at mich.com donald at mich.com
Sat Nov 2 06:48:07 PST 1996

>On Oct 31,  2:11pm, donald at mich.com wrote:
>> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>      If a vacancy is to be filled by going back to data of last election we
>> go to the original data and we first drop the now vacant candidate and
>> reassign his votes.  Then we run the reassigning routine until we produce
>> ten final candidates.  One will be new and the other nine should be the
>> same current nine sitting council members.  I have not proved this yet but
>> I think it should be so.  These nine still have the same winning votes.
>> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>-- End of excerpt from donald at mich.com
>I would be quite surprised if this (i.e., the other nine should be the
>same current nine sitting council members) were true.  I'd plan on it
>being false unless (and until) it is proven to be true.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dear Bruce,

     Thank you for comenting on something that I wrote. You made me rethink
this and lead me to constructed a model of election data in which one or
two sitting council persons would be displaced besides filling the one
     What percentage of the times this would happen in actual cases of
filling a vacancy is not important - what is important is that it can
happen and it will happen. Going back to last data is almost the same as
holding a new election.
     The question now is: should this be allowed to happen? On the one
hand, it is disruptive to the council members that are displaced. On the
other hand should the voters prevail.
     This policy of going back to the data of the last election was one of
three options I listed in the total text. The other two options are: not to
fill the vacancy and call for a new election of all seats. At this time I
would like to add another option. That option is that we consider only the
votes that elected the candidate to the now vacant seat on the council.
     These votes come from the voters that elected a candidate to this now
vacant seat. Only these voters should have the power to fill this vacancy.
Using these votes only, we drop the name of the vacant member and the names
of all the sitting members. It is acceptable to by pass the sitting members
because they have already won - they are not to receive any mare votes
under the single winner rules. We then work the numbers on the balance of
the selections until we come up with a winner to fill the vacancy. The
problem here is that the voters may not have made enough selections to
yield us a good race to fill this vacancy. This points up the importance of
the voters making more than a few selections.
     I am going to keep all the options - and I am going to list them in
order of least disruptive to most disrputive - that would put this new
option on top as number one.
     List of Options:
     One:  Use only the votes of the candidate that was in the now vacant seat.
     Two:  Do not fill vacancy
   Three:  Go back and use all the data of last election.
    Four:  Call for new election

Thank you again for writing - I think I gained the most.


More information about the Election-Methods mailing list