[EM] TIMESHARE officeholding
jweins123 at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 16 14:35:05 PDT 2002
Alex wrote yesterday (Re: [EM] pairwise, fairness, and information content):
"It tends to be inconvenient to have more than 1 mayor, governor, sherriff,
or other executive officer for a given constituency. That simple fact,
rather than any axiom of mathematics, is the motivation for studying
single-winner methods. Of course, concerns of fairness (founded in either
math, ethics, or politics) lead to the study of multi-winner methods for
legislatures and similar bodies, but on this list the greatest intellectual
interest seems to be in single-winner methods.
"Perhaps if all of society were more mathematically enlightened we would be
open to having 20 simulataneous mayors. Or perhaps not...."
For reasons and through means I have noted in other recent posts, we should
and could better do away with all these executive offices - and for that
matter legislative offices too. For making a public decision of law or
policy, we could better use a random ad hoc short-term citizen team, like a
However, for those more inclined toward continuing today's electorally based
oligarchy, here's an alternative to agonizing over p.r. or over the number
Namely, TIMESHARE officeholding: each candidate for a given office term
holds the actual office for a partial term proportional to votes received.
This alternative is likely not original with me, but I've not seen it noted
in print for a while, if ever. (In effect, some coalition governments have
used crude versions of 'timeshare' - e.g., in Israel, Shamir and Peres
alternated in the premiership.) Timeshare officeholding does not require us
to be 'more mathematically enlightened' but it would accommodate distinct
'simultaneous' electoral choices (without actually creating 'simultaneous'
Yes, there are a number of details to be resolve. They can be worked out in
different acceptable if not totally 'fair' (among the different candidates)
ways which we might discuss and haggle over. E.g., here are some issues and
my suggested responses:
'Quantum'. Each partial term consists of a whole number of whole 'working'
days for the given office (single executive office or multiple-office
'Connectivity'. Each partial term consists of a single unbroken time
'Apportionment'. Apportionment among the candidates of the available whole
number of working days follows some usual rational scheme, e.g. as for
apportioning legislative 'seats' among 'parties' or 'states'.
'Sequence'. Suppose K different candidates are thereby apportioned nonzero
partial terms. The order in which these K partial terms occur is determined
by one of two principles: either totally at random; or first choice as to
position is given to the highest vote-getter, next choice to the
second-highest vote-getter, etc.
On the above and yet other issues, no workable set of responses can be
totally 'fair'. Would-be 'fairness' is obstructed and complicated by many
facts. For instance, in a typical legislature, big organizational decisions
get made in the first days; big substantive decisions may get made in the
last days; and, in between, some working days are really working days just
for certain committees; etc.
Even so, TIMESHARE officeholding would seem to offer a much more rational
and fair approach, to implementing the overall wishes of the electorate,
than do many or maybe even all other widely discussed voting and
Long Beach CA USA
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