[EM] 01/31/02 - Two new design features for STV:

Adam Tarr atarr at purdue.edu
Thu Jan 31 10:15:24 PST 2002

>B)  Do we give the party votes a list of choices like an Open Party List?
>     This is better, but the lowest candidate will receive little if any
>benefit from the party votes.

I'm still not sure I understand Open Party list.  I provided an example in 
my last post which illustrated how I think Open party list works.  While it 
is not quite as efficient in making every vote elect a representative as 
STV is, it is highly proportional, highly democratic, and extremely simple 
to implement and understand.

>It can be argued that the party votes were intended to help every 
>candidate of the party as much as possible without harming any candidate.

It could also be argued that the party votes were intended to help the top 
candidates of the party more.  Or just the candidates that the person 
supports the most.  We don't really know the voter preference here.

>C)  Do we divide the party votes in proportion to the votes of the candidates?
>     This is also better but still not good enough, the lower candidates are
>still not being protected enough.  Protection means that every candidate of
>the same party, is to be helped to avoid as many elimination cycles as

While I agree that dividing in proportion to votes is bad, I disagree with 
the implicit assumption that voters want to help everyone in the party 
equally as soon as their vote transfers to "party."  In particular, while 
they may want to guarantee that their vote elects the maximum number of 
people out of that party,.they may want to insure that their vote does NOT 
help a certain member of that party.  It would be nice to provide a way to 
do this that does not require listing every other member of the party.

>a new elimination rule for STV that
>would do a very good job of protecting, as much as possible, all the
>candidates of a faction/party.  That rule is as follows:
>       "The candidate to be eliminated shall be the lowest candidate
>        of the faction with the lowest average votes per candidate."

This seems like an excellent rule that further guarantees 
proportionality.  I haven't thought hard about how it will work towards the 
end, but it's hard to imagine it will perform any worse than normal STV.

Nevertheless, using this rule does not require that you make "party" votes 
remain unassigned to a particular candidate.  I prefer making a "party" 
vote imply the insertion of the party list into the ballot, excluding any 
candidates listed elsewhere on the ballot.  Otherwise, while you have 
allowed voters to express a set of favorite candidates from within the 
party (by ranking them in advance of the party) you have not allowed them 
to effectively express a set of disfavored candidates within the party (by 
ranking them after the party).


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