[EM] Open Lists and Closed Lists

Dgamble997 at aol.com Dgamble997 at aol.com
Tue Jul 29 15:33:09 PDT 2003

In response to my post on open and closed lists Alex small wrote:

"Your goal here is to protect voters from themselves. I think it's pretty
clear that when voters divide their votes among lists they run the risk of
electing a less preferred candidate from one of the lists."

No, I wouldn't say that. There is no need for voters to run the risk of 
electing a candidate they don't like and didn't vote for if STV ( or possibly PAV ) 
is used. In STV your vote can only count for the candidates you express a 
preference for, not for candidates on the same list that you didn't vote for and 
don't like.

Alex also wrote:

"Now, admittedly, I'm the guy who said STV shouldn't be used until 80% of
voters in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Palm Beach "axis of befuddlement"
understand it. My main concern is that the mechanics of the system, and
the possible consequences of actions, be easy to understand. STV flunks
the simplicity test IMO, even though it does a decent job of protecting
voters from themselves. List systems that allow cross-over voting pass
the simplicity test, even though they don't protect voters from
themselves. "

I don't think this is true. The sequence of events party A supporters voting 
for candidate B1 ( who they like) and thereby electing candidate B2 ( who they 
don't like) is not the simplest example of cause and effect.

In STV possible consequences of actions are quite straight forward to 
understand. If you vote for a candidate and he/she is elected the whole or part of 
your vote may ( depending on the counting system) be transferred to your next 
choice. If your first choice is eliminated then your vote is transferred to your 
next choice, etc.

It is only vital that people understand the voting method ( the ability to 
write the numbers 1 to 30 in sequence is not beyond the capacity of most people) 
for an electoral system, not necessarily every detail of the counting system 
( though this is of course desirable). For example in a referendum voters in 
Wellington New Zealand approved Meek STV as the system for local elections. 
Meek STV is not the simplest thing in the world to understand and I doubt 
strongly that every person who voted in favour understood every detail of Meek STV 

Adam Tarr wrote:

"I read your example as an excellent argument for proportional approval 
voting (PAV).  Voters can vote across party lines without fear of supporting a 
candidate they don't like, and of course it's as easy to vote in as open list or 
even multi-winner plurality."

Adam could you provide a description of the method for a system of 
proportional approval voting that needs the above criteria? I've made several attempts 
to devise such a method and must admit failure.

David Gamble



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