Population paradox

Narins, Josh josh.narins at lehman.com
Tue Feb 4 05:53:54 PST 2003

`	I thought I'd mention this a few times :)

	Huntington is no longer used, the "Method of Equal Proportions" is.

	(simple explanation of method:
	Step 1. each state gets 1 rep (by constitution, doesn't change
	Each "Step" after this involves giving away 1 seat. The seat goes to
	State with the highest priority. Priority = (Population/Number of
Seats so far)

	I've looked at the issue, and, other than one tidbit, MEP is by far
the fairest.
	The only issue is the overall standard deviation between district
sizes can sometimes be helped by _REDUCING_ the number of seats. FOr
instance, at the last Apportionment (2000). Although 435 seats were given
out, if only 432 had been, the standard deviation of district sizes would
have been smaller.

	Montana keeps getting hosed, though, and they always will be with
MEP (unless population trends change, and fairly dramatically).

	the MEP was adopted in 1941. Congress asked the National Academy of
Sciences to investigate which method would be best in 1929.  The problem
arose because in 1913, Congress capped the total number of apportioned
representatives at 435.

	I recommend looking up the Congressional record for the 1941 session
(kinda weird, really, a lot of talk of "where sugar will come from if europe
is embroiled in a war" and other near-war conversations)
	The reason I recommend it is because of the charts (showing the
"fairness" of five different apportionment methods). They are easy enough
for a congressperson to read.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joe Weinstein [mailto:jweins123 at hotmail.com] 
> Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 8:29 PM
> To: election-methods-list at eskimo.com
> Subject: Re: Population paradox
> If I am not mistaken, Adam's 'Population paradox' has a 
> venerable history in 
> apportionment of the US House of Representatives, where at 
> one point it was 
> known as the 'Alabama paradox'  (In 1840 or so, Alabama 
> gained a larger 
> proportion of the population, yet lost a seat.)  It took a 
> long while, but 
> this paradox was a major impetus finally leading in the early 
> 20th century 
> to systematic 'scientific' house apportionment per 
> Huntington.  However, and 
> please someone correct me, as far as I know none of the usual 
> methods used 
> or considered by the House (Webster, Hamilton, Jefferson - 
> AND latterly 
> Huntington) really reliably solve the 'population' paradox.  
> To ensure a 
> solution, you must deliberately design for 'population' 
> consistency, or 
> 'monotonicity', as for instance is done by the so-called 
> 'quota method' of 
> Balinski and Young.  [By the way, though I no longer have the exact 
> reference conveniently at hand, their paper in the Amer Math 
> Monthly - late 
> 70s, I believe - was one of the few that really got me interested 
> academically in election methods.]
> Joe Weinstein   Long Beach CA USA
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