[EM] Cumulative Voting implementation

Tom Round T.Round at mailbox.gu.edu.au
Wed Aug 18 16:12:45 PDT 1999

G'day Bart. -- I agree with you that dividing one's votes unevenly is not a
good tactical manouvre under Cumulative Voting  whatever the illusion of
control it may give the voter. (Cumulative Voting is often praised as
allowing one to "express intensity of preference" -- see, eg, Alvin
Toffler, "The Third Wave", 1980, p 433: "We may also want to de-rig our
voting laws to eliminate anti-minority biases ... One quite conventional
method would be to adopt some variant of cumulative voting, as used by many
corporations today to protect the rights of minority stockholders. Such
methods allow voters to register not only their preferences, but the
intensity and rank order of their choices.")

Your suggested form of Cumulative Voting would be, in my opinion, the
least-worst form of non-preferential system. One could adapt it to Approval
for single positions by specifying that in that case each X counts as 1
full vote. A runoff ballot could be added if not enough plurality winners
receive a certain number of the voters enrolled, or casting valid votes. 

>From memory, when I asked about such a system on Election-methods list
circa 1995-96, someone told me this is the "Peoria system" because it's
used in that city. 

Regards, Tom.

At 01:44 PM 8/18/99 -0700, you wrote:
>I had always assumed that Cumulative Voting required number-voting
>equipment to be feasible, but it just occurred to me that standard "X"
>voting equipment is all that is required.  You simply divide the number
>of candidates on the ballot by the number of candidates that a voter
>selects, to get the fractional vote for each candidate.
>So if a voter selects only one candidate out of five, that candidate
>gets five votes.  If the voter selects two candidates, each candidate
>gets 2-1/2 votes.
>This is not quite the same as point-based cumulative voting, since there
>is no way for a voter to give unequal weight to different candidates,
>but it probably doesn't make strategic sense to divide the points
>unequally anyway, at least in most situations.
>This seems less vulnerable to strategy than Limited Voting.  Am I the
>last person to think of this?  Does it even sound feasible?

Tom Round
BA (Hons), LL.B (UQ)
Research Associate -- Key Centre for Ethics, 
	Law, Justice and Governance (KCELJAG)
(incorporating the National Institute for Law, Ethics and Public Affairs)
HUM[anities] Building, Room 1.10, Nathan Campus
Griffith University, Queensland [Australia] 4111
Ph:	07 3875 3817
Fax:	07 3875 6634
E-mail: 	T.Round at mailbox.gu.edu.au
Web:	http://www.gu.edu.au/centre/kceljag/

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