Adam Tarr atarr at purdue.edu
Wed Aug 25 12:54:21 PDT 2004

Dr.Ernie Prabhakar wrote:

>Ah, okay, I think I'm getting it.   So, how the heck does one define
>natural communities in any sort of objective manner?   City boundaries?
>  Commute flows?  Geography?

There was an excellent discussion about this in the archives.  Here's a 
link that links to it:


Basically, commute flows (or road bandwidth) was regarded as the best 
measure, as it encapsulates geography and demographics pretty well.

>  And, isn't there some minimal district
>size where PR loses its value?  And maximum size where voters get
>overwhelmed? The optimal size Assembly is purportedly 300,

Where does this idea come from?

>  which would
>mean 100 districts of average magnitude 3.

Or 43 districts of average magnitude 7, or any number of other combinations...

>I'm particularly interested in the State of California.  One proposal
>that has been suggested is to create 'supercounties' that reflect major
>transportation grids boundaries, e.g., Los Angeles (six southern
>counties), the Bay Area (nine SF counties), central valley (Fresno &
>Yosemite), and upstate (Redding etc.).
>Would the idea be to do PR in each of those four regions?  Is that
>still comprehensible to mere mortals, even if, say, the L.A. region has
>150 seats to be filled (more than the total entrants to our recall!)?
>Or do we draw the line at a certain size?

As James implied, 150 seats in a district is WELL beyond the point of 
diminishing returns.  No voter should be expected to put 200 candidates in 
order.  The only way to handle a district of that magnitude is party list 
PR, which is generally an inferior form of PR.

It's much better to have many smaller districts.  It's very hard for me to 
imagine a scenario where a district should have more than 20 seats.

>  Does it matter at all if the
>different regions have different populations? (is that Tullymandering?)

As long as each district has a number of seats proportional to its 
population, there's no problem with different districts being different sizes.

>Um, I'm confused.   I understand that -requiring- ticket voting would
>be perverse.  But, I can easily imagine a voter wanting the
>simplification of saying, "I want Joe first, then any Green, then any
>Democrat."  Is that possible with "non-perverted" STV-PR?

If you allow tied rankings in STV-PR, this can be done just fine.  Tied 
rankings do make STV more of a headache to tally, though.  You have to 
transfer vote fractions evenly to all the remaining tied candidates at the 
top of a ballot.

>On Aug 25, 2004, at 10:57 AM, Markus Schulze wrote:
>>Here is my suggestion:
>I appreciate the flexibility, but I'm having hard time imagining the
>user interface.   I guess I see it more as a system for ranking
>individual candidates, but with a 'quick fill' button for each party
>that automatically ranks any unassigned candidates from that party
>below your existing picks.

I imagine all the candidates listed on the left, under party headings, and 
an empty ordered list on the right.  You touch a candidate, then you touch 
the position you want them in on the list on the right.  If you touch a 
party in stead of a candidate, it dumps all the remaining candidates in 
that slot.

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list