[EM] Re: alternate proportional method

Stephane Rouillon stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca
Thu Jul 17 13:46:02 PDT 2003


on the site, there is a summary (first and fourth posts) of how SPPA works.
I will try to only identify the differences with STV (Irish version, I do not know

if it is the same as Newland-Britain) here.

To simplify, we already use sampling in every elections with ridings.
Historically, it came from the union of provinces (in Europe during middle-age)
that would agree to conceid power to a central government in exchange of the
garantee of some sort of represention. At the time there was specific problem to
each region, and you needed somebody from the place to gather the information. It
is not anymore necessary now.  Politicians gather regional electoral support, not
problem feedback.
Why, modernism and the media in particulary does the job now. Instead, we miss the
opportunity to obtain representativeness using as many dimension that there are
different debates made for each seat of the assembly.  We only use one unique
dimension (the dimension of the weigthed priorities of the political parties
chieves) that is repeatedly evaluated by an electorate that adds its personal
interest to the result. The result is that if every group is represented, some are
through an institutionalized ghetto that will always put them in minority at the
assembly (for example, the fish industry in Quebec counts for 12 ridings over 125,
and nobody can be trusted as a fair uninterested observer). Closing a governement
project to reopen it in the neighbour riding is our lobbyists job...

Now some solution (pure PR for example) try to solve this problem but create
others (oligarchy of the first-of-lists, quotas, unstability, clones,
vote-splitting, strategic voting....) I think the competition principle that works
well in economics for the global wealth measure could give us the best governement
too.  We only need a system that encourages this between parties (a proportional
model) and within parties (an open list model). Now STV and open list in general
are beginning to attack the problem. SPPA pushes that logic to the extreme, while
making sure individual interests (of voters and politicians) can't affect the
election result with some accepted form of corruption,
including the geographical one that other systems tolerate.

First, what is the same in STV and SPPA:
1) you are presented with candidates from different political parties and some
2) you go vote once, to fill a preferential (ranked) ballot;
3) when a candidate loses, your vote is entirely transferred to your next
preference if any;
4) the best candidates of a party will represent it, as they are ordered from the
election result to
build the party list.
5) the electorate can express priorities between not only positions of the
but between candidates of the same party with the same positions but not the same
subject priorities;
6) the mechanics allows as many variations to be presented and regroups supports
in favor of the strongest;

Now the differences:
7) as a voter, my riding is defined using non-geographical characteristics. So I
vote in the same
riding as other people on the other side of the country. For example a 12 members
chamber could use the months of birth, or a 73 members chamber could use the day
of birth without the year modulo 73 (365 = 73 * 5), with a special case for the
29th people to correct demographical variations. Thus there is no more
gerrymandering problems...;
8) ridings can be formed according to debates subjects instead of regional
participation. So all health specialists, or gay favorable/defavorable candidates
can confront their views.  Each riding becomes a some subjects-specific referendum
with a couple of positions available.  Every debates
are nationaly available through medias...
9) only one representative per party runs in my riding. With STV we can compare
its result with the other candidates of the same party in that same riding. With
SPPA, because electorates are equivalents, you can compare its result with all
other candidates of the same party.
10) politicians learn who are their next electors the day the campaign starts; so
they manage the country during their mandate, they cannot bribe any electorate
neither by giving them subventions for plants nor by inidivdual trade. They would
govern more by conviction because the system would remove some incentive to govern
by interest;
11) a voter can vote "none" to say a second candidate elsewhere would be better
than any candidate running in this riding;
12) the model mainly attributes one winner per riding. If some subjects are a lot
more interesting,
than others several candidates could be sent to the assembly to continue that
debate, while
a riding fighting about a ridiculous subject (according to the electorate) would
send none;
13) the result is entirely proportional and individual support is maximized within
this restriction.

Three details:
14) the IRV inner motor that procuces weights to ensure voting loosers some
partial representation
by another member of the same party can be replaced by a Condorcet motor;
15) proxy weights in the parliament can be use to be fair between two small
parties having each received one representative, but one with .45% of the vote and
the other .24%, because of rounding errors;
16) other detail, to ensure a stable government (as many bipartite coalition
possible as the number of parties minus one), we give the option to the chief of
the plurality party to recuparate good losers
in exchange of a reduction of the length of its mandate. This could be usefull for
any proportional model when producing unstable results.

I hope it helps,

Stephane Rouillon

James Green-Armytage wrote :

> Dear Stephane,
>         Thank you for the feedback!
>         I have gone to the url you mention a few times, but I'm sorry to admit
> that I find even the English version kind of a forbidding read. Would it
> be too much trouble for you to post a concise summary of how this method
> differs from regular STV (say, Newland-Britain, for example)? I am
> interested in your idea and I would appreciate any effort to make it more
> accessible to us.
> all the best,
>         James
> >       I agree with you. You have explained Condorcet dynamics better than I
> >would...
> >
> >If you are interested in a different PR system, please read:
> >http://www.fairvotecanada.org/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=8&forum=1&4
> >(fourth post describes it all in english).
> >
> >Stéphane Rouillon
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