[EM] 1-person-1-vote has been abandoned.

Alex Small asmall at physics.ucsb.edu
Tue Jan 14 10:58:51 PST 2003

At the risk of reopening Pandora's box, the 1p1v debate seems to boil down
to a debate over definitions.  Some people take 1p1v to mean equal
opportunity, others mean equal power.  The first criterion is equivalent
to Markus's Anonymity criterion, passed by any reasonable method.  The
second requires a careful and precise definition, and may be an
interesting criterion to apply when evaluating methods.

Since my interest in the 1p1v thread waxed and waned, I can't recall if a
precise statement of the "voting power" definition was ever posted.  In
any case, Steph's suggestion of a different name, e.g. "Reciprocal
Fairness" would be a nice way to end the debate over "What is 1p1v?"  We
could then move to the more fruitful question "Is this a desirable
property to demand when designing election methods?"

In general, arguments over definitions are generally pointless when the
question is "What does this word mean?"  If they can't agree, then the
best solution is to use two different words for the two different
definitions.  Linguists might not approve, but it enables discussion to
move forward.  However, when people agree on the general idea (e.g.
Reciprocal Fairness requires all ballots to have equal influence in some
sense) then efforts to formulate a more precise and useful definition can
lead to stimulating debates.  Let's go in that direction.


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