Building the Party List

Mike Ositoff ntk at netcom.com
Tue Jul 28 23:31:24 PDT 1998

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I have to say that "New Democracy" (Don Davison) is mistaken
again.

I can understand the desirability of minimizing computation by
creating the list with just 1 count. But the only thing that
makes STV proportional is the electing of candidates by quota,
and the transfer of all of their votes except for their quota.

If you aren't doing an STV count with a pre-known number of seats,
then you can't know what the quota should be, and you can't know
when to declare someone elected by quota, or how many of his votes
to transfer. And, therefore, proportionality would be impossible.

So, really, there's no proportional way to do it, except to do
successive STV elections, with increasing values of N, as I
was describing it.

Of course, by starting with N=1, and then N=2, ...etc, that
makes it possible to order the list for the best proportion
between fractie & party membership.

***

Now an additional person also has suggested successive STV elections,
with increasing N. Good. That means that 2 people on this list
agree on that recommendation.

But he suggested that the candidates who have already been
added to the list should have priority. Though uncommon, or even
rare, there can be times when not all of the N-1 candidates
chosen so far are winners in the current N-candidate STV election.
As I was saying yesterday, the previously chosen candidates shouldn't
always have precedence over the new ones when that
house-nonmonotonicity occurs.

When the current N is less than your party's current number of
seats, then the N candidates chosen by the N-candidate STV election
should have precedence. If not all of the N-1 previously chosen
candidates are among the N that the new STV election has chosen,
then all of the new ones should be considered to be the list.
Obviously all of the _old_ list-members among the N should keep
their list ranks. To determine which of the other winners of the
N-candidate STV election should be added to the list, and in
what order, go by who has the most 1st choice votes, or
(better yet) apply a good rank-balloting single-winner count
rule to the rankings, among the new (not previously in the list)
candidates chosen by the N-candidate STV election. You would
apply that method to repeatedly, to fill each successive
list position, till you've filled the Nth list position.

But if, on the other hand, if N is greater than your party's
current number of seats, then the already-listed candidates should
have precedence. They all keep their list positions. Since we're
talking about the situation where not all of those N-1 candidates
are among the new N winners, that means that there will be
more than 1 new candidate among the N new winners, in contention
for the Nth list position. Choose from among them either by
1st choice vote totals, or by using a good rank-balloting count
rule, and the original rankings collected from the voters.

***

The reason for these suggested precedence rules is that, when
N is less than your current number of seats, it's more likely
that your party will win N seats, rather than N-1 seats. Therefore,
faithfulness to the N-candidate STV count is more important than
faithfulness to the N-1 candidate STV count.

Similarly, when N is greater than your current number of seats,
your party is more likely to win N-1 seats than to win N seats.
Therefore faithfulness to the N-1 candidate STV count is more
important than faithfulness to the N-candidate STV count.

***

If N is exactly equal to your party's current number of seats,
then use the first priority rule, the one for when N is less than
your party's current number of seats. That shows that you
expect your party to increase its seat-share in the election.

***

Mike Ossipoff

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