# Picking numbers in bills

Mike Ossipoff dfb at bbs.cruzio.com
Mon Nov 11 20:40:47 PST 1996

```DEMOREP1 at aol.com writes:
>
> One method to picking numbers in bills is to choose a range. The highest
> number with the highest majority would be enacted.
> Example- picking a tax rate (as a percent of gross domestic product)
>
> A 10-15
> B  12-18
> C   9-19
> D  16-21
> E  17-30
>
> 9 1
> 10 2
> 11 2
> 12 3
> 13 3
> 14 3
> 15 3
> 16 4
> 17 4
> 18 4
> 19 3
> 20 2
> 21 2
> 22-30  1
>
> 18 would be enacted (assuming using whole numbers only). A tie breaker vote
> could, of course, be done among the peak values (16, 17, 18).
>
> In a real partisan situation, of course, the ranges might be very narrow with
> extremes that did not overlap (e.g. 3 votes for 20-21; 2 votes for 10-11)

Certainly there are innumerable possible ways to count votes on quantities,
just as tehre are innumerable ways to count ranked ballots.

The way you suggest for counting ballots that vote for a quantity
is Plurality, basically. In the (unrealistic) case where everyone
rates the values of the quantity in order of how close it is
to his/her favorite value, the median of the votes has been
proposed, because anything lower would ahve a majorilty wanting
something higher, and anything higher would have a majority
wanting something lower.

Sure, kyou could use a Plurality count, as you said, but I don't
know why one would do it that way. You didn't give a reason.

But, as Tom Round pointed out, we don't just rate the values
of the quantity according to how close they are to our favorite.
Whether the quantity is a date, which may have conflicts for
various people at various randomly placed points, or whether
it's a budget vote, our preference for values can't be asssumed
to vary in such a simple way. As Tom pointed out, someone who
wants to spend _lots_ on a project, to really do it right, might
very well prefer spending nothing on it rather than half-hearted
partial spending.

So I agree with Tom that some values should be nominated, and then
they should be voted between just as in any other multi-alternative
single-winner vote, using one of the best rank-balloting count
methods.

Mike

>
> .-
>

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