Population paradox

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Wed Feb 5 16:35:50 PST 2003

On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, Narins, Josh wrote:

> A bias over time for small states?
> I think they are entirely incorrect.

In actuality if the small states had exact proportional representation,
they would have less voting power per citizen than the large states.

See EM archives messages 8541 and 9054 and the surrounding threads for
more on this.

The URL for the Banzhaf Power calculations is


[I haven't checked it recently to see if the URL is still good.]

The Banzhaf Power is the probability that an individual's vote will have a
pivotal influence on a randomly chosen democratically decided decision.

The result at the above URL is that the small states (even those with
super proportional representation) have sub proportional voting power per
citizen, and the large states (even those with sub proportional
representation) have super proportional voting power per citizen.

With this fact in mind, it becomes clear that the small states should have
more representation than any of the commonly proposed methods would give

In other words, before we worry too much about the third decimal place in
proportionality of representation, we should start looking at the first
decimal place in equality of voting power for each citizen.

Joe W.'s randomly chosen juries for decision making would automatically
give equal voting power, since each citizen has an equal chance of
participation in a randomly chosen decision.

Forest (from Oregon)

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