[EM] 01/12/03 - James Gilmour Writes and Writes Somemore:

Donald E Davison donald at mich.com
Mon Jan 13 00:56:30 PST 2003

01/12/03 - James Gilmour Writes and Writes Somemore:

Greetings James and list members,

I had written:
> District STV has this added problem because there is no linkage between the
> party proportionality in the district and the party proportionality in the
> entire jurisdiction.

James wrote: "This is only a problem if you think it's a problem."
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 19:02:59 -0000

Donald here:  It may not be a pressing problem, but it is a measure of the
quality of a district election method and district Preference Voting/STV
does not have any of this quality.

James: "There is much more to political representation than party

Donald:  I will agree that there is more, but party proportionality is
number one and should and can be retained at near 100% while the `more' is
included in a method.

James:  Proportionality WITHIN parties is just as important as
proportionality BETWEEN or AMONG parties."

Donald:  Now you are going into the inner workings of a party, which should
not be the realm of an election method.  Each party has the power to decide
which candidates to run in an election.  The election method merely does
the math of the public votes.  In order to improve the proportionality
within parties, you will need to write some separate laws outside the
election method laws.  In the meantime you are free to vote for the
candidates of the party that does have good proportionality within its
party.  Maybe if a party did have very good inside proportionality it would
attract more support, but I digress.

Donald had written:
> Now, I will say that MMP does have a few flaws, but nothing that cannot be
> corrected if a jurisdiction is willing to change a few rules of MMP, but in
> spite of these few flaws, MMP is still the best district method in use
> today and is also the best multi-seat method if the close member-link is
> important to the people of a jurisdiction.

James: "These comments make me suspect you have no personal experience of MMP."

Donald:  If this comment of yours implies you think those of us who do not
have your onhand experience should step out of any discussion of election
methods and leave the field to you, well, guess again James, you are sadly
mistaken, it does not work that way.  When I think you are correct I will
say you are correct and when I think you are wrong I will say you are

Your direct contact with STV and/or MMP should be a very good learning
experience for you and should have given you a good understanding of the
good and defective features of STV and/or MMP, but you do not seem to have
gained that understanding.  You are so close to the trees you cannot see
the forest.

There is very little STV in America and no MMP, so it is true I have no
personal experience of either, but I would like to say that I also have no
personal experience of laying an egg, but I am able to tell a good egg from
a defective STV.

Both STV and MMP have good and defective design features, you should be
willing to see and admit these features of each.  From my vantage point I
have a better view of the forest than you have.  Best you listen to me
about the good and bad of election methods - Ha Ha.

James:  "It has two serious flaws that no amount of tinkering will cure."

Donald:  Oh, how wrong you are.  Current Top-Up MMP has some flaws, but
nothing that cannot be corrected if we are willing to change some of its
rules.  For example:
 * We can use only district candidates on the party list, according to how
well they did in their districts, to allow the voters to determine the
candidates and order of the list.
 * We can use Instant Runoff Voting in the districts to not only elect the
best choice of the voters, but also to determine the best order of the
candidates that go on the party list.
 * We can give the voter only one vote instead of two so that we avoid the
distortions of cross party voting.

   Donald Davison, host of New Democracy at http://www.mich.com/~donald
                        Candidate Election Methods
   |                        Q U O T A T I O N                          |
   |  "Democracy is a beautiful thing,                                 |
   |        except that part about letting just any old yokel vote."   |
   |                           - Age 10 -                              |

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